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22nd of March 1984

A Boeing 737-200 was scheduled to operate a scheduled passenger flight from Calgary to Edmonton (Both in Alberta, Canada), on this day in aviation in 1984. Onboard, a crew of 5 (2 flight crew and 3 cabin crew) and 114 passengers.

The aircraft ablaze while the evacuation is ongoing (Source: © unknown)

Following a small delay, the aircraft taxied to Calgary's runway 34 for take-off. After completing the necessary checklists the aircraft received its take-off clearance and initiated its take-off run at 07:42. Approximately 20 seconds after initiating the take-off roll, at a speed of approximately 70 knots, a loud bang was heard by the crew (and passengers) while yaw to the aircraft was felt at the same time. As they were well before the take-off decision speed (V1) the captain immediately aborted the take-off applying reverse thrust and brakes., both flight crew were under the assumption that the noise and the yaw were the result of a tire failure on the lefthand main landing gear.

The aircraft slowed down quickly and was brought to taxi speed, and the captain decided to clear the runway at exit C-4. Just before reaching the exit both crew observed that the N1 (low pressure) rpm of the engine was indicating 0%, also an electrical failure was indicated for the left engine generator. While analysing these indications the crew continued to taxi and clear the runway at exit C-4.

Firefighter applying Fire Fighting Foam to the burned fuselage

(Source: © unknown)

23 seconds after the take-off was initiated the crew informed ATC they were clear of the runway and slowly taxied down the taxiway. A short while later the purser entered the flight deck. asking if they had blown a tire. and stated that there was a fire at the back. After the captain queried her remark she explained that there was a fire at the back of the left wing. The fire bell wrung a for a short moment and a persistent flight attendant call was heard. The crew asked ATC if they could see a fire on the left wing, which was confirmed by ATC. The purser then reported that: "The whole left-hand side, the whole back is burning". While discharging a fire bottle into the left engine, the aircraft continued to taxi. ATC then advised the crew to hold position. Time since the take-off was aborted, 1 min and 33 seconds when ATC informed the crew that flames were visible on the left-hand side of the aircraft. 3 seconds later the cockpit fire bell sounded. A second fire bottle was discharged in the left engine and the purser was told to initiate an evacuation. 1 minute and 55 seconds after the take-off was aborted the evacuation was initiated. 4 of the passengers sustained serious injuries, while the remaining 115 occupants received minor or no injuries. The aircraft was largely consumed by fire before the Airport Fire Service extinguished the fire.

The aircraft after the accident.

The NTSB investigated the accident and in their report (available by clicking here) identified the following findings;

  1. The 13th stage compressor disc suffered an uncontained failure.

  2. Failure of the disc was caused by a fatigue crack

  3. Some repairs during the engine's last major overhaul were not carried out in accordance with the manufacturer's procedures.

  4. The failed disc penetrated the left-wing fuel tank causing a fuel leak and the fire.

  5. The left-wing and aft section of the aircraft was engulfed in flames.

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