A Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-900ER (registration TC-JYF —”Çırağan”) was performing flight TK-541 from Istanbul Atatürk International Airport to Niamey in Niger. It departed from runway 35R when it suffered a tail strike during takeoff proceedings. The crew received a tail strike warning during their climb to cruise altitude from 7000 feet and decided to return to Atatürk Airport. They burned off fuel by holding around the Marmara Sea for 2.5 hours. The B737 made a safe landing on 35R. Passengers will be sent to Niamey with another B737-900ER (registration TC-JYJ).
Normally, after a tail strike, planes can continue performing their flight because they have a tail skid that directly reacts with the ground to protect the fuselage from any damage. Pilots still have the option to return to the airport for safety concerns.
B737-900ER planes have extended fuselages, which is why most tailstrike incidents are likely to be seen on this specific aircraft. Turkish Airlines has had several tailstrike incidents with B737-900ER aircraft, including on both take off and landing.