Event Details

Title:Cabin smoke evacuation, McDonald Douglas DC-9-82, April 16, 2003
Micro summary:After APU smoke permeates the cabin of this McDonald Douglas DC-9-82, an evacuation is ordered.
Event Time:2003-04-16 at 1158 CDT
File Name:2003-04-16-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:FTW03LA132
Site of event:DFW Airport, TX
Departure:Nashville International Airport, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Destination:Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas & Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Airplane Type(s):McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82)
Flight Phase:Taxi
Operator(s):American Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:1
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:

NTSB short summary:

An inadvertent trauma to the passenger's ankle during an emergency evacuation.

NTSB synopsis:

While taxiing after landing, the flight crew started the airplane's auxiliary power unit (APU). Shortly thereafter, the cabin began to fill with smoke. The captain ordered an emergency evacuation. All slides functioned normally; however, during the egress a passenger sustained a broken right ankle. Examination of the airplane revealed the smoke was caused when the APU ingested hydraulic fluid that leaked from the pump after APU start-up.

NTSB factual narrative text:

On April 16, 2003, at 1158 central daylight time, a McDonald Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82), N452AA, operating as American Airlines Flight 2439 (AAL 2439), was not damaged when it encountered smoke in the cabin while taxiing after landing at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas. AAL 2439 was being operated by American Airlines, Inc., of Fort Worth, Texas under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121, as a scheduled domestic passenger flight, from Nashville (BNA), Tennessee to DFW. One passenger sustained minor injuries, one passenger sustained a serious injury, 49 passengers and the 5 crewmembers were not injured during the emergency evacuation.

AAL 2439 landed at DFW on runway 17L and took the high-speed exit Quebec Seven onto taxiway Echo Romeo. After crossing runway 17C, the airplane turned north onto taxiway Mike, and the first officer started the auxiliary power unit (APU). Shortly thereafter, the #1 flight attendant called the cockpit and reported smoke in the cabin, and "it smelled electrical." The captain shut off the recirculating fan and air conditioning packs, and turned on the ram air. The captain then requested a situation assessment from a deadheading American Airlines captain (Check Airman) who was in first class. The Check Airman reported to the captain that "you've got smoke, and its getting worse." The captain stopped the airplane on taxiway Mike short of taxiway Echo Lima and issued instructions to the flight attendants to evacuate the airplane. The flight attendants evacuated the passengers via the fore and aft service door slides, and forward entry door slide. After completing the ground evacuating checklist, the flight crew exited the airplane.

One passenger sustained minor lacerations and scrapes on the right hand, and another passenger sustained a broken right ankle. The passenger with the broken ankle underwent surgery for the injury, and was hospitalized for a period exceeding 48 hours.

American Airlines maintenance replaced all slides and a leaking O-ring on the hydraulic transfer pump before returning the aircraft to service. Examination of the aircraft revealed the smoke was caused when the APU ingested hydraulic fluid that leaked from the pump after APU start-up.

Learning Keywords:Operations - Cabin or Cockpit Smoke
Operations - Evacuation
Systems - APU
Close match:Emergency evacuation due to fumes, McDonnell Douglas MD-80 ,December 19, 1997


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