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20th of January 1995

After an uneventful flight to Manchester, the crew of a BAe ATP (G-MANA) was preparing the aircraft for their next sector. After all preparations were completed, engines were started and the aircraft taxied to Runway 24, as cleared by ATC.

The BAe ATP Prototype, not the incident aircraft (https://www.airportspotting.com/)


A rolling take-off was initiated with the co-pilot as the pilot flying, and with the engines at full power at 14.05 local time. Soon after lift off the aircraft is cleaned up, with landing gear and flaps being retracted. At 1000 ft altitude, while climbing on the runway heading, the propeller speed was reduced to 85%. At 3 miles from the airport at 2700 feet altitude, the aircraft suddenly yawed to the right accompanied by a distinct thud. A quick check of the engine instruments made the crew aware of a drop in engine torque from 90% to 20%. Immediately the captain requested ATC to maintain runway heading and climb to the safety altitude, because of an engine issue. Just after receiving the requested clearance, a second thud was heard and the fire bell sounded while the warnings for a right engine fire illuminated.

The appropriate immediate actions were taken by the commander, including discharging the first engine fire extinguisher, which did not extinguish the fire, only after the discharge of the second fire extinguisher did the fire warning cease. After which the commander declared a 'MAYDAY' requesting vectors back to Manchester. The crew switched roles and the commander became pilot flying. An announcement was made to the passengers regarding the situation and the return to Manchester.


BAe ATP flight deck, not the incident aircraft (Source airliners.net)

The Senior Cabin Crew Member informed the flight crew there was smoke in the cabin, with an unusual smell. With the engine fire extinguished, the smoke started to clear gradually, One of the passengers complained about irritated eyes, non of the other passengers indicated they suffered any ill effects from the smoke. Manchester ATC had alerted the airport fire brigade while the aircraft was being vectored for a landing on runway 24. In the meantime, the crew completed the relevant checklists and at 14.20 local time the aircraft touched down on runway 24. The aircraft vacated the runway and stopped the aircraft with the failed engine downwind from the cabin. The aircraft was emptied via the aircraft stairs (with only 15 passengers and the fire extinguished the captain did not think an emergency evacuation was necessary.


The main component of a PW127 engine (source: https://engineering.purdue.edu/)


The aircraft was inspected by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) on the evening of the occurrence, the following findings were noted;

  • Oil flowing from the Low-Pressure Compressor Shroud Bleed outlet (not an abnormal quantity according to the ATP engineers present)

  • Oil deposits on the righthand horizontal tailplane

  • Impact damage to the de-icing boot of the righthand horizontal tailplane

  • The right-hand propeller was fully feathered.

  • Exhaust duct distorted through extensive heat

  • Metallic debris in the exhaust duct

  • The second stage of the Power Turbine had extensive damage to nearly all blades

  • Power Turbine Casing had numerous bulges from high energy impacts, no parts penetrated the casing

  • Several oil tubes were loose

The engine was removed and shipped for a strip down under the supervision of the AAIB. Further damage was found inside the engine;

  • Power Turbine stage 1 had lost all of its blades

  • Impact damaged to the low power turbine

  • Minor damage to the high power turbine.

  • #6 & #7 bearing housing was loose

  • #6 & #7 bearing badly worn, showing signs of overheating.

The manufacturer reported that the engine failure was the result of a first stage power turbine blade failure. The full incident investigation report is available by clicking here.

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