Event Details

Title:Uncontained engine failure, Boeing 737-236 series 1, G-BGJL
Micro summary:Following an uncontained engine failure, a catastrophic fire emerged during evacuation.
Event Time:1985-08-22 at 0613 UTC
File Name:1985-08-22-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:8/88
Site of event:Takeoff, Manchester
Latitude/Longitude:5321'N 00216'W
Departure:Manchester International Airport, Manchester, England
Destination:Corfu International Airport, "Ioannis Kapodistrias", Corfu, Greece
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 737-236
Flight Phase:Takeoff
Operator(s):British Airtours
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:15
Other Injuries:1
Executive Summary:At 0612 hrs G-BGJL, carrying 131 passengers and 6 crew on a charter flight to Corfu, began its take-off from runway 24 at Manchester with the co-pilot handling. About thirty six seconds later, as the airspeed passed 125 knots, the left engine suffered an uncontained failure, which punctured a wing fuel tank access panel. Fuel leaking from the wing ignited and burnt as a large plume of fire trailingdirectly behind the engine. The crew heard a 'thud', and believing that they had suffered a tyre-burst or bird-strike, abandoned the take-off immediately, intending to clear the runway to the right. They had no indication of fire until 9 seconds later, whenthe left engine fire warning occurred. After an exchange with Air Traffic Control, during which the fire was confirmed, the commander warned his crew of an evacuation from the right side of the aircraft, by making a broadcast over the cabin address system, and brought the aircraft to a halt in the entrance to link Delta.

As the aircraft turned off, a wind of 7 knots from 250 carried the fire onto and around the rear fuselage. After the aircraft stopped the hull was penetrated rapidly and smoke, possibly with some flame transients, entered the cabin through the aft rightdoor which was opened shortly before the aircraft came to a halt. Subsequently fire developed within the cabin. Despite the prompt attendance of the airport fire service, the aircraft was destroyed and 55 persons on board lost their lives. The cause of the accident was an uncontained failure of the left engine, intitiated by a failure of the No 9 combustor can which had been the subject of a repair. A section of the combustor can, which was ejected forcibly from the engine, struck and fractured an underwing fuel tank access panel. The fire which resulted developed catastrophically, primarily because of adverse orientation of the parked aircraft relative to the wind, even though the wind was light.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Deadstick/Power Loss
Operations - Evacuation
Operations - Maintenance
Systems - Engine - Uncontained Engine Failure
Other - Post-Crash Survivability
Consequence - Hull Loss
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