Birmingham International Airport, West Midlands, England
PIA - Pakistan International Airlines
Type of flight:
Whilst the aircraft was taxiing, following an otherwise uneventful landing at Manchester, flames were seen around the wheels of the left main landing gear. As the airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Service (RFFS) attempted to extinguish the flames, copious quantities of what the RFFS Watch Commander assessed as smoke were produced and, fearing that the fire was getting out of control, he advised the aircraft commander to evacuate the aircraft. Minor injuries were sustained by some passengers and several fire service personnel during the evacuation. The investigation determined that the cause of the fire, established as being in the No 10 main landing gear wheel, most likely resulted from the maintenance practice used when cleaning the wheel heat shields. It was likely that these had been immersed in a flammable solvent, which allowed the ceramic fibre insulation material contained within to become contaminated. The fire occurred on the second landing after the wheel had been fitted to the aircraft, when the brake pack temperature was likely to have been higher than on the previous landing.