This study presented a failure analysis of a 52.3 m composite wind turbine blade under static loading. Complex failure characteristics exhibited at the transition region of the blade were thoroughly examined and typical failure modes were indentified. In order to predict multiple failure modes observed in the tests and gain more insights into the failure mechanisms of the blade, a Finite Element (FE) simulation was performed using a global-local modeling approach and Progressive Failure Analysis (PFA) techniques which took into account material failure and property degradation. Failure process and failure characteristics of the transition region were satisfactorily reproduced in the simulation, and it was found that accumulated delamination in spar cap and shear web failure at the transition region were the main reasons for the blade to collapse. Local buckling played an important role in the failure process by increasing local out-of-plane deformation, while the Brazier effect was found not to be responsible for the blade failure.