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Boeing 767 Engine Fire Causes Major Damage At LAX

Friday, June 02, 2006 |

On Friday, June 2, 2006 at 12:34 PM, sixteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Rehab Unit, two Hazardous Materials Teams, two EMS Battalion Captains, one Command Post unit, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command Team, Deputy Chief Mario Rueda, and a variety of additional support staff under the direction of Assistant Chief Donald Austin responded to a Aircraft Fire at 7100 World Way at the Los Angeles International Airport.

Airport Crash Companies arrived on scene within a minute of dispatch to find an American Airlines Boeing 767 with a fire in the number 1 engine. The plane, parked near hangar number two, was not in service at the time of the fire and was undergoing routine maintenance and engine checks. Firefighters immediately applied firefighting foam and were able to control the fire within sixteen minutes.

Click for image gallery...


At the time of the fire, the aircraft engines were running while the plane was parked at a blast wall adjacent to the American Airlines hangar. During the engine run up, a failure of the number one engine caused a brief fire and scattered debris throughout the area.

After extinguishing the fire, firefighters were confronted with a significant fuel leak from the damaged engine. Foam was used to cover the fuel on the ground to prevent ignition and reduce the possibility of a larger conflagration.

Firefighters and airport personnel worked in concert to offload remaining fuel, limit the fuel from reaching storm drains, and render the situation harmless. Using dikes, vacuum trucks, and de-fuelers, the 10,000 gallons of fuel were successfully offloaded and contained.

Airport personnel inspecting the adjacent runway and Taxiways discovered debris related to this aircraft. At the request of the National Transportation Safety Board, Runway 25R and Taxiways B and C were closed for several hours until the investigation and collection of the debris could be accomplished. Fortunately, Air Traffic Controllers were able to make the necessary adjustments and prevent disruptions to local air traffic.

Over 100 Firefighters participated in the seven hour event, suppressing the fire, managing the Hazardous Materials spill, mitigating the exposure, and providing support during this incident. The plane sustained significant damage to the left wing, fuselage, and tail section.

Damage estimates, as well as the cause of the fire and the circumstances surrounding the engine failure, is currently under investigation. There were no injuries reported

(slideshow) (images)


Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

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33 comments:

Anonymous said...

The article says "one Rehab Unit" was sent to the scene. What's a Rehab Unit?

udaypal@hotmail.com said...

The engines is a CF6-80C2 and looking at the photos seems to be a case of explosion in the combustion chamber zone. Possibly in the bearing chamber inside the CC. These engines have a problem of fuel leaking into the oil system at the FCOC (Fuel cooled oil cooler) due to higher fuel pressure compared to oil sys pr. The fuel in oil causes it to evaporate and form a leathal gas that gets ignited whilst passing through the co-axial shaft(connecting fan to Low pr turbine) mounted vent tube. The vent tube passes through the CC towards the LPT bearing - 'D' sump. Has happened before in Emirates on A300 infact inflight.

My 2 cents.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous:

The LAFD cross-staffs (there are no full-time personnel assigned) three specialty vehicles referred to as Rehab/Air Tenders.

These units are designed to support the rehabilitation of LAFD personnel during extended incidents through the provision of food, drink and/or cooling and warming measures.

The multi-faceted vehicles also provide shelter, toilet facilities, supplemental lighting and breathing air cylinder supply with recharge capability and electrical power that is often used at large fires, special events or during times of extreme or extended activity.

I hope this information helps, when in Los Angeles, we welcome you to visit Fire Stations 28, 59 or 85 to see these specialized apparatus.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

udaypal,

From the sound of things, you have a strong interest or employment in aviation.

We are pleased to say that, pursuant of protocol, our friends at the National Transportation Safety Board are formally investigating this incident.

When a specific and official cause is determined, we are confident that they will release that information to all stakeholders, including the public, through the aviation section of their popular website.

Thanks for your comments. Tailwinds!

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

This incident appears very very similar to the US AIR 767 engine failure at PHL on 9/22/2000.
See the report at this NTSB link.
http://www.ntsb.gov/recs/letters/2000/A00_121_124.pdf

Anonymous said...

the engine installed on this aircraft is a GE CF6-80A not an 80C2

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

We had to remove the comment above because it impolitely attacked the person who posted an earlier message rather than offerring a self-sustained viewpoint or disagreeing in a collegiate fashion.

amulbunny said...

I live in Redondo and I heard the boom while I was in my 2nd floor office. I immediately turned on the TV news but there was nothing reported. Glad that it was in the MX area and not in the air and no one was seriously injured.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like some questions have to be asked about these engines. GE seem to have a history of this. I'm only glad that this happened on the ground and the firecrew were obviously on their toes. Well done guys!
Maurice

Anonymous said...

it appears to be an uncontained failure of the Stage 1 disk on the #1 engine

Marty said...

One of the pictures implies that there was some damage to the engine on the RIGHT side also. Was there debris that penetrated and exited the fuselage on the other side or is that picture a mirror image?

Anonymous said...

udaypal,

If this was a CC explosion/failure, wouldn't you expect to see more coking on the HPT disk (at least the blades)and ½ the disk is entact? Also, it appears that the combustion chamber sees little distress except rapid oxidation.

I can be wrong for the pictures lead to a lot of speculation.

Anonymous said...

Marty,

It is possible that a) given the rpm for this disk (I'd estimate at ~9000-10000rpm at take off thrust) and that the engines are below the fuselage, that the force of a disk letting go at that speed could have easily punctured through the nacelle of the #2 engine causing the damage that you see.

Anonymous said...

As corrected, it is a GECF680A2 engine & most likely is an HPT disc failure.It has happened on at least 1 other occasion that I'm aware of, on an Air NZ 767 flight climbing out of Brisbane with similar results.

Marat said...

What's this http://www.flickr.com/photos/lafd/159079657/in/set-72157594153722446/ ?
HPT disk with blades off or plug from http://www.flickr.com/photos/lafd/159079625/in/set-72157594153722446/ ?

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

We are pleased to leave this comment thread open, and appreciate the polite discourse that has taken place.

That much said, we remind visitors that there remains an open investigation as to this matter by aviation authorities (and not this Fire Department).

Any of you that wish to provide personal insight or offer formal and authoritative comments relative to this incident or U.S. aviation safety in general are strongly encouraged to contact the National Transportation Safety Board via their website:

www.ntsb.gov

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Joakim Karlsson said...

Very nice write-up and slide show. I will try to make a case study exercise on this event for my airport management students.

One pet peeve: "hangar" has two "A"'s (unless "hanger number 2" is a really big coat hanger).

Cheers,

JK

Anonymous said...

Where's the discussion about GE's failure to design an engine with proper "containment" for the rotating parts?

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Mr. Karlsson:

Thank you for your good natured comments. I have made the correction you noted (making it abundantly clear that for our purposes, a blog is vastly superior to relying solely on a static press release). Please accept our best wishes for your class on airport management.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous,

This forum does not really engender the discussion you propose. Realizing that there are many viewpoints and the facts have yet to be assembled, we'll politely suggest those wishing to assail or direct the corporate entity you mention to another aviation-centric forum.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

This 26 yr veteran airline Capt - now retired - is certainly glad that he never had a double engine failure on a 2 engine airliner on takeoff. Thank God it occurred on the ground.
Great job fire department! And some awesome degree of credit goes to the maintenance crew that got things shutdown without injuring anyone!

Anonymous said...

Brian -

Good answer. So you moonlight as a lawyer?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just Wow. Good job at containment, people.

-Anonymous in Chicago. Found on AVWeb.

Airband said...

Might just be the photo angles, but the storage tanks in adjacent area look to be within the 3K ft debris range.

Anonymous said...

KUDOS, first to all that risked their lives to contain this mishap, then for posting photos and allowing comments.

Crossed the Atlantic many times in this aircraft back in the 90s. Guess the pilots were right when they "wrote up" this engine.

AA 767 Captain, Retired.

Anonymous said...

Hello;

Outstanding job extinguishing this engine fire!. Since the fuel cells were ruptured and fuel was dripping (3D fire) can you tell us if the LAX crash trucks used dry chemical (BC) during the attack ?
Also can you tell us if the crash trucks had diffuculty maneuvering around the aircraft because of ground equipment (GPU, Air Conditioning truck, etc..).

Sincerely;

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous:

Please pardon my tardy reply. I've been out of town for two weeks, and have been blogging/replying remotely.

I am now back in Los Angeles and in direct contact with the Los Angeles Fire Department crews that responded.

LAFD responders did not use any dry chemical extinguishing agent in handling this incident.

I spoke with the Officer in Command of our first-responding Crash Fire Rescue units, and he assures me there was no difficulty in accessing the burning aircraft.

He mentioned that only one pair of air stairs was in use, and that some of the vehicles and equipment that appear to be in close proximity were not so at the time of the fire.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

The way this blog is going (Polite and reasoned) it seems that such an incident arouses interest in people who have great ideas but otherwise may never get the chance to put them forward. I am (and always have been) interested in aircraft - I was born a mile from an RAF station in 1953 - but I can't claim any great technical expertise. However it is good to see ideas and rational questions being put forward and asked so that we may all benefit in the future.

I don't think anyone can place a value on our firefighters, volunteers or professionals, and I speak with regard to those in my native Britain and those here in my adopted USA. No matter what their rank or sex, each and every firefighter is worth any number of politicians or CEOs. Those of you reading this who are firefighters, thank you, those of you who are not firefighters then thank your God instead in whatever way you feel appropriate. Most people could simply not face what firefighters sometimes have to see and they bear this load with dignity and determination, sometimes at great cost to themselves. Politicians and CEOs would never understand how great those costs can be.

I'll leave it there while there's still a chance that this post will get through, but I will leave it with another thank you to all our fire fighters around the world who don't look the other way when the worst happens and just face up to the situation.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Anonymous:

Thanks for the note and your kind words. They mean more than you know.

We're pleased to include your post and no, there is no penalty for your being polite or mentioning G-O-D [smile].

Please know that many people on this side of the pond remain enamored by the RAF (especially the Red Arrows), though not from such close proximity or young age.

While not all of us have or will pilot an aircraft, you rightfully remind us of our collective need to be concerned about civil aviation, especially safety issues.

As such, we do encourage our blog readers to closely follow the NTSB investigation into this matter, and to make their elected leaders (regardless of nationality) aware of their personal and professional concerns regarding the safety of the traveling public.

Thanks for helping us maintain the decorum, as we all await the outcome of the NTSB's investigation,

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Anonymous said...

I would like to know if anyone on the ground used a fire extinguisher before the Fire Department arrived and how effective it was? Larger wheeled fire extinguishers (300 lbs.) are usually placed at the nose of an aircraft while maintenance is being done.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know about some red flares we saw in the sky on Fri Nov 24? We were in Parking Lot C at 8:00 PM and saw these two red flares and heard an exploding sound.

Thank You!
Cynmarty@yahoo.com

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Cynmarty:

The Fire Department has no explanation for what you saw that evening.


Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Firefighter/Specialist
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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