Monday, October 08, 2007

American Airlines MD-82 engine fire and emergency landing at St Louis

American Airline MD-80 aircraftYou may have heard or read news stories about an American Airlines MD-82 that made an emergency landing at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) recently, due to an engine fire. No one was injured in the incident, but it must have been mighty tense on the flight deck of American Flight 1400 during the emergency.

The NTSB preliminary report about the MD-82 incident includes a detail not mentioned in news reports. In addition to an engine fire, there was a problem with the aircraft's nose gear as well. Here is how the NTSB report tells the tale:
On September 28, 2007, at 1316 central daylight time, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9-82 (MD-82), N454AA, operated by American Airlines as flight 1400, executed an emergency landing at Lambert-St Louis International Airport (STL), St. Louis, Missouri, after the flight crew received a left engine fire warning during departure climb from the airport. The airplane sustained minor damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 121 scheduled domestic flight.

After landing, the 2 flight crew, 3 flight attendants, and 138 passengers deplaned via airstairs and no occupant injuries were reported. The intended destination of the flight was Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD), Chicago, Illinois.

Upon receiving the left engine fire warning during climb, the flight crew discharged the aircraft engine fire bottles into the affected engine.

During the visual return and single-engine approach to the airport, the nose landing gear did not extend. The flight crew then extended the nose landing gear using the emergency landing gear extension procedure.

The airplane returned and then landed on runway 30L (11,019 feet by 200 feet, grooved concrete) and was met by STL Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Vehicles. [NTSB Report ID: CHI07MA310]
The crew would be forgiven if they required a change of underlinens after landing.

[Photo Source]

UPDATE Apr. 7, 2009: The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a report on its investigation of this accident: NTSB: American Airlines MD-82 engine fire caused by improper maintenance procedures -