Researchers investigating an Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER tail strike at Hong Kong have revealed that the landing was the pilot's first on the 777, outside of a simulator.
The first officer, the flying pilot, had obtained a type rating five days earlier on the 777 and was under the supervision of a training captain, with more than 6,400 hours by type, during the flight from Toronto.
The Hong Kong Air Accident Investigation Authority states that the first officer has not flown the plane before, other than by means of simulator training, or has previously carried out a Hong Kong approach as a member of the operational crew member.
Two cruise relief pilots were also in the cockpit at the time of the event on December 11 last year.
The crew informed for the approach, but while the pilots had expected to land on runway 07L, the arrival track underwent a late transition to the parallel 07R.
The weather conditions for the approach include a side wind of up to 12 knots from the left.
Researchers claim that the plane was "marginally up" in the glide lope for 07R, but stabilized, and the first officer switched the autopilot to 400ft. The captain gave verbal guidance during the descent to the runway.
But when it passed 200ft, the twinjet began with a series of, initially small, role deviations before it introduced a "pronounced" role to the left and then to the right, the research says in its preliminary findings.
"The [first officer] introduced large control inputs on the plane to keep the sudden and unexpected rolling behavior under control, "it adds." The plane was not at the level of the wings during the landing area because it turned to the right. "
The right main landing gear first came into contact with the runway and the combination of a high lowering speed and high nose position resulted in a hard landing and left the underside of the hull behind on the runway surface. The plane bounced before it sat down.
Inspection of the jet (C-FITW) showed that it had suffered significant damage to the lower hull. "The aircraft is currently unusable and is undergoing a major repair process," says the research.
None of the 376 passengers and 17 crew members were injured during the event. The study emphasizes that the findings are provisional and that no conclusions can yet be drawn about the circumstances.