Investigation report on American Airlines Flight 383, a Boeing 767, uncontained engine failure and subsequent fire at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
28 October 2016, During the takeoff roll, the flight crew heard a loud bang and initiated a high-speed rejected takeoff, stopping the aircraft on the runway. Fire and thick black smoke were present on the right side of the aircraft. The flight attendants initiated an emergency evacuation and all 170 passengers and crew were successfully evacuated the aircraft, but 21 people were injured, one seriously. The airplane was substantially damaged from the fire.
The uncontained engine failure resulted from a high-pressure turbine (HPT) stage 2 disk rupture. The HPT stage 2 disk initially separated into two fragments. One fragment penetrated through the inboard section of the right wing, severed the main engine fuel feed line, breached the fuel tank, traveled up and over the fuselage, and landed about 2,935 ft away. The other fragment exited outboard of the right engine, impacting the runway and fracturing into three pieces.
Investigators found that defect had been developing microscopic cracks in the disk of General Electric CF6-80C2B6 engine for as many as 5,700 flight cycles (one takeoff and one landing), prior to the accident.
The investigators also found that the evacuation of the airplane occurred initially with one engine still operating. The flight crew shut down the affected right engine, and they shut down the left engine during their evacuation checklist. But the evacuation began before the checklist was complete.
Normally, the cabin crew would communicate with the flight crew to coordinate. But in this accident, there were no communications between the cabin and the cockpit before or during the evacuation. As a result, flight attendants initiated the evacuation with the left engine still running. The one seriously injured passenger was blown over by jet blast from that engine.
flying public: Follow your crew’s instructions.
In this case, as in some prior evacuations, some passengers retrieved their baggage – despite flight attendant instructions to leave it behind. One passenger even resisted a flight attendant attempting to take away a carry-on bag… in a burning airplane.
Things can be replaced. People can’t. Pilots and flight attendants need your cooperation, as a passenger, to perform safe and orderly evacuation. They’ll tell you when, where, and how to exit – and to leave your baggage behind.
NTSB recommends to modernise the inspection procedures to catch potential flaws, and a review of design considerations to mitigate damage from such flaws. NTSB also recommended to follow the checklist and called for better training, as well as further research where our knowledge could improve on evacuation and passengers behaviour during emergency situation.