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Old 13th Sep 2015, 19:40
  #434 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 173
Some interesting posts and links here, some accurate, others not so much.
As one who was there, I'd like to share some aspects.

This was a low-speed/low-energy RTO, around 80kts IAS. Apparently, no prior warning or abnormal indication, just two "booms" followed by an immediate engine fire indication with both bottles fired, followed by the evac.

The aircraft was departing on RWY 7L from A8 intersection, which is standard for that airport configuration and for aircraft less than MGTOW, which this flight was (170 SOB).

When it came to a final stop, it was just west of A6, remaining on the RWY, left of center line and tire marks clearly visible as it decelerated. No tires blown; just one slightly deflated. No brake fire.

The main reason why the emergency services got there so quick and put out the fire in under two minutes was the location of the aircraft. It was immediately due south of the fire station crossing one, parallel taxiway, TWY B. Took about a minute to get there whereas the FAA-mandated response time is 3 minutes for the first fire truck to reach the mid-point of the emergency runway. It was less than half that time, so some luck also involved here.

Six out of a total of eight slides/doors were activated. The two NOT activated were L2 and L3 - for obvious reasons. The evacuation, when it was initiated was very quick, majority of injuries coming as a result of evacuating which seems to be common in incidents like this. The aircraft has NO over wing exits (windows).

ATC did not have to notify nor did the crew ask if there was fire or smoke - it was pretty obvious by everyone after a few moments and the fire trucks and other first responders were ALREADY on the way before any crash alarms sounded. Again, the fire station is in close proximity to that runway location, the visual impact unmistakeable, and the crew had fired both bottles with the engine fire handle still lit (hence the evacuation command).

Damage to the aircraft was concentrated to the #1 engine cowling, especially on the inboard side and underneath (Mainly smoke and fire damage), inboard leading edge of that wing, along the fuselage and some four to five windows scorched. Some of the fire went under and around and there is smoke/fire damage on the opposite side, although less intensive as you would expect from the source. Difficult to ascertain any evidence of penetration of the cowling. However, plenty of bent metal parts and pieces hanging down, still attached, again on the inboard part.

The debris field behind the aircraft depicted several engine parts including pieces of cowling, compressor or turbine blades or parts thereof, flanges, metal collars and small bolts.

Whatever the ultimate cause, the preliminary NTSB report, evidence at the scene and research of previous accidents with similar characteristics, all seem to point to a catastrophic failure of either compressor or turbine parts inside the #1 engine. As for the subsequent fire, my best guess is rupture of some fuel lines, a gearbox or the oil/fuel cooler. It is my understanding that no fuel tank was breached.

Investigation and engine tear down continuing with NTSB, AAIB, BA, GE, Boeing and FAA FSDO working in unison all week and likely in to next week also.

Lives were definitely saved, no question. Kudos to the crew, LAS ARFF and rescue units, ATCT and all the other agencies involved. It's not every day or even every year that you have an incident like this and everyone acted professionally and quickly, with the sole exception of a few passengers! Frankly, that part was not noticed in the immediate aftermath as there was a lot going on and the vast majority had already exited by then and well away from the aircraft.
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