NTSB assists in China Airlines 747 tailstrike investigation

Washington DC
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The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) yesterday reported that is aiding Taiwan in an investigation of a Boeing 747-400 operated by China Airlines that received "substantial damage" after a tailscrape when departing Anchorage, Alaska for Taipei on 4 March.

According to a preliminary report filed by the Taiwan Aviation Safety Council, the 747-400 freighter (B-18723) was departing Anchorage at 13:38 local time when the pilot received a stick shaker warning during take off roll, indicating that the aircraft was flying at an airspeed to low to sustain lift.

Pilots said the aircraft returned "to normal" after they increased engine thrust to the maximum setting. Flight 5223 continued to Taipei where it performed a normal landing at 16:48 Taipei time.

After landing, mechanics carried out an inspection and found "the airplane's belly skins were subject to substantial damage", the report states.