The Wall Street Journal reported, that the airplane had landed with the left main gear off the runway and struck the right wing tip while turning back onto the runway centerline. According to their report the controller had already advised the crew of a significant deviation from the localizer course prompting the crew to disengage their autopilot at 300 feet and continue for a manual landing. The FAA is said to have received the report from American Airlines only 4 hours later.
The FAA reported on Dec 15th, that the airplane suffered a wing tip strike while landing in Charlotte resulting in substantial damage to the airplane, but did not confirm a runway excursion. The NTSB have opened an investigation.
Kinda surprising there wasn’t any mention of a scraped wingtip on the ATC recording. Shouldn’t the pilots report something like that so the airport ops people can get out there to clear off any debris? I’m guessing the tower didn’t see it happen with the low visibility at the time (RVR’s 1000-1600)… Could have been a FOD incident later… You never know where a broken-off landing light will end up if nobody sees it.
The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday said that it is stepping up oversight of American Airlines in the wake of three botched landings by the carrier over an 11-day period. The latest incident, which prompted heightened scrutiny of American’s operations, involved a jetliner whose wingtip struck the ground while landing at Austin, Texas on Christmas Eve. There were no injuries and the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft was inspected and returned to service.
Tower can’t close a runway, only Airport Ops can. Generally speaking, a runway closure would occur after completion of a runway inspection and a known condition, beyond simply picking up an errant piece, exists.
Technically you are right in most cases, but the tower can opt not to use the runway and send traffic to another runway. And they also are responsible for notifying Airport Operations in an event such as this so the proper inspections/closures/NOTAMs can be followed.
The Local Controller can’t close a runway. Use of another runway can be a very good option. When you listen to the tapes, the crew gave NO indication of a problem. The pilot sounded almost bored. You have to know that a problem exists before you can notify Ops. With really low RVR physically seeing it isn’t going to happen. If I had to guess, the crew may not have been aware of the damage at that point.
Why wouldn’t the controller launch the next guy? You can’t work out an issue when you don’t know it exists.