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NTSB: American Airlines 767 Engine Failure Attributable to Metal Fatigue

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued an Investigative Update of American Airlines flight AA383, which caught fire on runway 28R at Chicago O'Hare International Airport after aborting its take-off. ( More...

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Bill Harris 19
More from the Seattle Times:
Dubslow 8
This is an incredibly well written, informative yet not hyperbolic piece of aviation journalism. Major kudos to the author for the research he put into it
So well written that it was easily translatable to portuguese.
ToddBaldwin3 15
Isn't it great to read a story without all the drama and incorrect information, and no one commenting on the "fliers"?
paul trubits 6
Oops! You just did!
canuck44 7
Prediction: the first "fix" will be to replace the second disk at 10,000 hours instead of 15.000. This gives a margin of safety but also provides material for GE to study the disks more thoroughly to search for other hidden problems.
Highflyer1950 7
The alarming thing is the smaller third world carriers using equipment that ihas been used and abused (runway FOD) Taxiiways full of debris, and engines still on the pylons because operators keep demanding more extentions on cycles to squeeze more revenue out of powerplants that barely make rated power and display engine vibrations just a hair under the max! No way I'm suggesting this is the case at American, but have just seen this scenario too many times. Maybe this "on condition" inspection and life limit cycle times need to be rethought.
Ken Hardy 4
The NTSB will be looking at the inspection records on this engine and when was the last time a full hot section teardown was preformed and when was the last time a full FPI inspection was done on the disk. I suspect either the crack was missed or a internal defect that lead to the crack forming was missed in UT when the disk was made. I was involved with the NTSB investigation of a fan disk failure on a Pratt JT8D-219 back in the mid 90's where the Delta inspector missed a crack that started in the fan disk tie bolt hole and radiated out to the edge of the disk and down about a half inch, It will be interesting to see if the engine work and inspection was done off shore where work practices are sometimes suspect
James Simms 3
Chicago ATC w/map...
thetrain 4
Wow. This really could have been terrible. Just a few more feet to V2. Thanks for the additional link.
Torsten Hoff 6
...or fragments of the disk launching into the fuselage and a row of passengers.
Roy Hunte 2
Shows how fast those things spin.
Gayla Maas 2
It used to be, those engine mounts were designed to "melt" and give way, so the airplane structure (in this case, the wing) would remain intact. The old 737 were that way, and even the -10 and -30 DC-9. I'd feel better knowing an engine fire would cause "release" of the engine, rather than it remain burning on the wing and near those fuel tanks. Can anyone with 767 experience, that has real knowledge comment on why that engine is still on the wing, even after that much fire? It doesn't inspire confidence in the newer engineering designs to see this.
Peter Maas 0
WOW, Gayla Maas, Are you from the Netherlands?????
Gayla Maas 1
My great grandparents immigrated, so I may have relatives there.
Peter Maas 0
Thanks for answering so quickly.
joel wiley 2
There was this link to this NTSB press release in the posted story.

The press release ends with
"The accident docket, containing factual group reports and other investigation-related material, will be opened at a future date. Additional information will be released as warranted." so too early for the docket.
This is one of the fastest NTSB investigations I've ever witnessed, and the first to conclude a single cause.
Joseph Cooney 2
2003... Metal fatigue? Who should be surprised if indeed the aircraft still had its original engines. This we do not yet know.
Bernie20910 2
The key element of this story for me was that there was an inclusion right where the fatigue crack originated. This, at least to me, opens up questions about the quality controls used during the manufacturing process. I would not be surprised if this leads to new checks being made and an entire batch of disks being recalled/trashed.
Peter Maas 0
absolutely, it goes back to quality control. Some of the disks may have had borderline inspections.
sparkie624 1
WOW... Certainly not what I thought it was... Thanks for sharing this info.
paul trubits 1
Was this originally an US Air 767? I know the one we took from KPHL to Venice and back felt like it was on its last legs. Even the overhead reading lights were randomly turning on and off.
Brian Hankey 5
No this was an original AA 767 and one of its younger ones too (delivered in 2003).
Highflyer1950 1
Interesting that the same engine issues occurred many years ago, but the engines were a lot smaller (and more of them on the plane) most of the exploded engine just disintergrated and flew out the rear. Titanium shields were in place around the hot section to protect fuselage from debris entering the pressue vessel. Now with these "Huge" powerplants containing 3 foot or bigger buzz saws, containment has not kept up. Is it me or has there been a big increase in engine issues lately, not just failures but burning smells, weird odours, oil leaks etc.?
...maybe it's time to retire the FUGLY 767's...just ask WESTJET here in CANADA ....nothing but headaches from these aging beasts !
djames225 3
That's because they bought older Quantas units, with many miles on them...they should have gone through a more stringent check such as a D Check...yes it would have cost a lot per craft, but look how much it's cost them now with downtime and penalties/fees and compensation.


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