performance related incidents & accidents
with the Boeing 737
To let pilots realize that performance plays a big part in the daily operation, listed below is a summary of incidents and accidents where the performance of the aircraft was insufficient.
Most of these incidents resulted in runway excursions causing damage varying from minor structural to hull losses with fatalities.
Runway excursions can be divided in veer-offs (aircraft departs the side of the runway) and overruns (aircraft unable to stop before the end of the runway) and is the most frequent accident cause worldwide (3rd most in EASA countries) and rank in 6th place in terms of fatal accidents.
Landing overruns or RTO (Rejected Take Off) overruns might be caused by incorrect performance analysis and/or weight entry errors, possible due to wrong calculations, or FMC (Flight Management Computer) or computerized performance tool entry errors.
Tailstrikes are situations where the tail of the airplane touches (scrapes) the ground, either on takeoff or during landing. This might be caused by either over-rotation (pitch attitude too high) but can also be caused by trying to rotate or to land at a too low speed. In turn, this too low (rotation VR - or landing reference VREF - ) speed can, similar to runway excursion situations, be caused by incorrect performance analysis and/or weight entry errors, possible due to wrong calculations, or FMC (Flight Management Computer) or computerized performance tool entry errors.
This summary only gives an overview of recent incidents and accidents where the Boeing 737 was involved and only those where the (near) runway excursion was not (solely) caused by technical failure. Besides these, realize that most of the performance related incidents (think about eg. FMC weight/speed data entry errors and wrong flap selections) do fortunately not turn into incidents or accidents and therefore will not reach the public.
This overview is updated regularly.
PERFORMANCE RELATED INCIDENTS & ACCIDENTS