|Title:||Engine fire, Boeing 747-123, December 29, 2004|
|Micro summary:||This Boeing 747-123 had an engine fire in the #4 engine.|
|Event Time:||2004-12-29 at 1741 AST|
|Publishing Agency:||National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)|
|Diversion Airport:||Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Anchorage, Alaska, USA|
|Site of event:||Anchorage, AK|
|Departure:||Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Anchorage, Alaska, USA|
|Destination:||Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea|
|Airplane Type(s):||Boeing 747-123|
|Operator(s):||Polar Air Cargo|
|Type of flight:||Revenue|
|Diverted to:||Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Anchorage, Alaska, USA|
NTSB short summary:
The failure of a high-pressure fuel line fitting, which resulted in an engine fire during takeoff/initial climb.
The 14 CFR Part 121 international cargo flight had an under-cowl fire in the number four engine during takeoff. The crew shut down the engine, activated the fire extinguishing system, and returned to the airport. An inspection of the engine disclosed that the entire outboard engine cowl was missing, and the engine had extensive fire damage. A fuel tube to the oil cooler was observed to have separated from the coupler attaching it to the oil cooler, leaving a gap of about one-half inch. The oil cooler uses the heat-exchange principle, exchanging heat via high quantity fuel flow. The fuel tube is about one and one-quarter inches in diameter, and has a working pressure of about 200 psi. Separation of the fuel tube assembly connection occurred at the brazed sleeve joint between the ferrule and the fuel tube. An examination and X-ray mapping revealed that the brazed joint did not meet the minimum requirement for filler material adhesion required in Aerospace Material Specification (AMS) 2664F for silver brazing.
NTSB factual narrative text:
HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On December 29, 2004, about 1741 Alaska standard time, a Boeing 747-123 airplane, N858FT, sustained minor damage resulting from an under-cowl fire in the number four engine during initial climb after takeoff from the Ted Stevens International Airport, Anchorage, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as Flight 8445, by Polar Air Cargo of Purchase, New York, as an instrument flight rules (IFR) non-scheduled international cargo flight under Title 14, CFR Part 121, when the incident occurred. The three flight crew members were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Ted Stevens International Airport, Anchorage, about 1735, and was bound for the Osan Air Base, Republic of South Korea.
During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on December 29, the FAA aviation safety inspector who examined the airplane said there was a fire in the number four engine compartment, and that the entire outboard cowl was missing. He said the crew reported a fire alarm indication in the engine during initial climb, and that they reported shutting down the engine and activating the fire extinguishing system. The airplane dumped fuel, returned to Anchorage, and landed without incident.
During an examination of the airplane by the IIC on December 30, the entire outboard cowl was missing. The inboard cowl had been removed by the maintenance crew. The inside of the inboard cowl had extensive fire damage. The engine also had extensive fire damage, with the most damage in the area of the fuel controller.
The number four engine was removed from the airplane and taken to a storage warehouse. During a visual inspection of the outboard section of the engine adjacent to the oil cooler, the IIC noticed a misaligned large diameter fuel tube (PW Part No. 772123). The fuel tube had separated from the coupler attaching it to the oil cooler, leaving a gap of about one-half inch. The oil cooler is co-mingled with the fuel flow transducer, and uses the heat-exchange principle to cool engine oil, exchanging heat with high quantity fuel flow. The fuel tube is about one and one-quarter inches in diameter, and has a working pressure of about 200 pounds per square inch. The connection at the oil cooler end of the tube assembly included a ferrule that had been brazed to the fuel tube about one inch from the end of the tube. An elastomeric seal (O-ring) was placed around the tube adjacent to the lip of the ferrule, and both were held in place by a nut that was threaded to an externally threaded fitting. Two safety wires were attached to the nut, one wire from the nut to the fitting, and the second from the nut to a metal tab welded onto the fuel pipe. The wire from the nut to the metal tab was broken at the tab. Separation of the fuel tube assembly connection occurred at the brazed sleeve joint between the ferrule and the fuel tube. The fuel tube was removed from the engine without disturbing the ferrule retaining nut, which was safety-wired to the fitting. The tube assembly was shipped to the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, D. C.
The accident airplane is a Boeing 747-123 (cargo configuration), serial number 20109. At the time of the incident, the number four engine had logged 75,863 service hours, with 2,183 service hours since overhaul.
TEST AND RESEARCH
A detailed examination of the tube assembly was conducted, and revealed that the torque on the retaining nut was so low that, once the safety was removed, the nut was easily removed by hand. The safety wire, attached from the nut to the metal tab, had failed in a typical overstress mode. The ferrule had been brazed to the tube at a distance from the end of the tube significantly greater than that specified by the manufacturer. Visual inspection revealed that the brazing filler material adhered to the tube better than it did to the ferrule. X-ray mapping of both brazed surfaces confirmed that the filler mater adhered more readily to the tube than to the ferrule. Aerospace Material Specification (AMS) 2664F for silver brazing requires eighty percent of the mating surfaces of a joint be joined by filler metal. X-ray mapping suggested that an estimated fifty percent of the ferrule surface, and sixty percent of the tube surface, had been covered by filler material before separation.
The Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7A engine is a discontinued model, and according to the manufacturer, there are about 220 of this model engine still in service worldwide. The fuel pipe in question is no longer in production, and is not used on any other engine model.
|Learning Keywords:||Systems - Engine - Contained Engine Failure|
|Systems - Engine Fire|
|Close match:||Runway overrun, Serious incident occurring January 19, 2004 at Frankfurt-Hahn involving a DC-10-40F|
|Engine vibration on approach, Airbus A321-231, G-OJEG|
|Engine fire, McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30, N68065|
|Inadvertent evacuation involving a parked Boeing 737-500 at Eugene Airport, Eugene Oregon, on December 25, 1997|
|Engine failure, Air France, Boeing 747-128, F-BPVD, St. Jean, P.Q., Canada, August 17, 1970|
|Engine fire, Airbus Industrie A300, July 9, 1998|
|Engine fire, Boeing 727-100, July 13, 2001|
|Engine fire, Douglas DC-6A, July 20, 1996|
|Engine fire, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82, June 18, 1993|
|Engine fire, Boeing 757-232, April 17, 2003|
|Birdstrike, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82, September 16, 2004|
|Uncontained engine failure, Boeing 747-200, April 2, 2000|
|Runway excursion, Royal Air Maroc Boeing 747-200 CN-RME, Dorval/Montreal International Airport, uebec, 23 July 2000|
Accident Reports on DVD, Copyright © 2006 by Flight Simulation Systems, LLC. All Rights Reserved. All referenced trademarks are the property of their respective owners.www.fss.aero