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Squawks & HeadlinesFor lack of just one washer, entire 737 goes up in flames

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For lack of just one washer, entire 737 goes up in flames

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Incorrect fastener (lack of washer) allowed fuel to leak out of the wing over a China Airlines 737 as it taxiied to a stop, resulting in total hull loss. Amazing video. Airport firefighters are there within 2 minutes but it is too late - entire plane engulfed. (lessonslearned.faa.gov) More...

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danishnelson
Danish Nelson 4
Is it just me, or did it take a while for emergency operations to arrive?
preacher1
preacher1 3
Nah, last comment down here says something about it also. Looking at the video, it was 3:15 til they got there and about 3:30 til they got anything started on it.
preacher1
preacher1 4
Not sure of how far they had to come, but the guys at SFO did less than 2 minutes on 214, having to go all the way out there. I can't remember if this was here somewhere or overseas. A little faster response though and it might not have been a complete hull loss.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 3
It was arriving on the island of Okinawa in Japan. The tower were the first to notice the flames. They radioed the plane, and the crew immediately started evacuating everyone via emergency slides.
danishnelson
Danish Nelson 2
I would agree - It just seemed like it wasn't until things escalated extravagantly that the airport knew when something had gone wrong.
preacher1
preacher1 2
somebody didn't call 911
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 1
It was in Japan. I think it was a language problem. They called the and said "We have a flier." The person on the phone said, "Yes, this is an airport, there are lots of fliers."
preacher1
preacher1 1
I believe it was around 2:56 before the aft end hit the ground. It was a fairly small fire until that first center explosion; probably a lost cause past that.
SootBox
SootBox 11
Looks like a Chinese fire drill! Oh wait... it IS.
sparkie624
sparkie624 4
That is BADDD!!! But I love it...
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
maybe Smokey The Bear could give them some training.... :)
shenghaohan
Shenghao Han 1
You shall call it Taiwanese instead. China Airlines is owned by Taiwan, which had a poor safty rating by NSTB. They almost crashed a 747 back then, captain did not correct a simple engine failuare by useing rudder, insead let Auto Pilot to it. Lead to over banking and the 747 sparrowed down almost tear itself apart.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Taiwanese fire drill doesn't have the same ring. (Besides China considers Taiwan to be a rebellious province.)

And if you want to get technical, the fire drill was at a Japanese airport with Japanese firefighters.

The folks coming down of the emergency slides were mostly Chinese. So we've come full circle.

Now, getting a planeful
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
They should be able to come down the slides... Seems like this airline has had some actual practice :)
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
A fascinating video would be of an airliners stop short of the runway, everybody jumps out, run around, go back up through prepositioned airstairs.

Then the plane takes off to its' intended destination. An airline could do it once as a special treat for willing passengers. That would get good viral/ social media penetration.

Unfortunately for WestJet, Canadian fire drill doesn't have the same ring.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 1
It's Smokey Bear , not "Smokey The Bear".
Roaether
Brian Smith 0
That's racist on SO many levels. its hilarious, but so racist
preacher1
preacher1 2
It may be racist but it was earned after many years of being well earned.LOL
emmanuelaponte
emmanuelaponte 3
Did any body notice the person trying to put out the fire with the fire extinguisher at the 00:17 mark? haha
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 1
Yep. Was already mentioned.
blueashflyer
blueashflyer 3
How long am I going to have to stand at baggage claim before I get my suitcase?
SootBox
SootBox 1
Watch the video again, MANY idiots hauling carry-ons down the chute!
preacher1
preacher1 1
Probably already had them in there hands. They had landed and were preparing to disembark. You normally don't expect to go down an emergency chute after arriving at the gate.
siriusloon
siriusloon 2
At that stage, it's probably better to hang onto them than drop them and block people behind you.
preacher1
preacher1 1
What's funny is the difference. Those folks, the biggest end of them probably came down the chutes with their carryons and probably were uninjured. They said h-m-m-m, which way to the parking lot. Americans would have been looking for a lawyer.
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 0
Passengers were sent a bag of briquettes by mail.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
Not good... But you would have thought that someone would have noticed something... Nothing like this happens for just one reason... The washer was just one of other faults that took place here.
blucenturion
blucenturion 2
within two minutes? timeline showed 3 mins 15 secs till the trucks drove up to the side with the smaller flames. yes, amazing video, that part is true.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 2
... and that's from the start of the video, which started with the fire already in progress.
preacher1
preacher1 1
One will always wonder if an earlier response would have kept that from being a hull loss. Granted, bad damage, but that was not a big fire until that center tank went off.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I remember that... Maybe China Air may not bee the safest mode of travel...
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Oops.. My bust.. clicked on wrong reply.. Corrected.
wingbolt
Todd Wilson 2
The washer was probably there and installed properly, issue was it was made in China.
wirife
Walter Riedel 1
Right probably a copy washer made in China
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
The NTSB report never indicated that a substandard washer was used. But ratger that the washer was not replaced, when the assembly was addressed due to a service directive. Sloppy maintenance work.
avihais
Martin Haisman 1
I wonder if they will sue Boeing...oops did I say that!
adfausel
Fausel Daniel 1
Over 3:30 to have the first firefighting vehicle started to work...! And this happened on an international Airport? What a shame!
wirife
Walter Riedel 1
It took more than 3 minutes and that is definitely too long. At the video with the fire already on it took 3 minutes.
freundlt
Thomas Freundl 1
... I'm trying to understand why the pilots when out through their windows versus the slide.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 1
Two minutes must refer to that man with a hand-held extinguisher next to the engine.
projectabove35000feet
PATFTF PATFTF 1
That is really bad...
SootBox
SootBox 1
Someone spent a bunch of time making this video about the fire and I now understand LESS than I did before...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSUNzpmE-Rk
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 2
Seems pretty clear to me.
tropicvi
David Baird 2
Video explains it all.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
In the typical situation police already out in patrol or other airport workers will reach the scene first. The firefighters at their station must first receive the alarm (often from the tower who have the best view of the field), then put on their firefighting gear, then drive their fire apparatus to the fire scene, assess the scene, and then begin their fire fighting efforts.

Even at the Asiana crash at SFO, The police arrived in advance of the firefighters.
ExCalbr
Victor Engel 1
Read the other messages here.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
This is a really old case (almost 7 years ago). I has long ago been resolved.

The only responsibility was for the incident was the maintenance tech, who failed to repace all parts, as per specification.

When he has parts left over. 'I wonder where this washer was from.'

'Don't worry. It'll never make a difference. No one will ever notice that it's missing.'
freundlt
Thomas Freundl 1
Sorry - didn't read that far - got it
kneafseym
Why did the pilots go out the window rather than the escape shoot?
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 4
English is such a colorful language. An "escape shoot" is when you break out of prison, an escape chute is the slide under an aircraft door.

The pilots bailed from the cockpit window because heat and smoke in the cabin made opening the door ill advised. They'd read the manual and headed out the window. 747 have an escape hatch in the cockpit and a rack of handles attached to wires that allow each person to rappel down the side to safety.
sparkie624
sparkie624 -3
I remember that... Maybe China Air may not bee the safest mode of travel... Working on those planes in the USA, that is an RII Item... I guess their eyes were too close to see it them as well.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
"For lack of just one pilot, entire 777 goes up in flames".
KauaiGolfer
KauaiGolfer 1
Amazing how long it took for the first fire truck to arrive. If somebody had grabbed that wheeled fire bottle at the very beginning and used it correctly instead of running away, this might've had a different outcome. At least the guy with the hand held bottle tried, though aiming at the base of the fire is the way to go. Competent ramp agents could've kept this from happening.
jmilleratp
John Miller -1
Greatest. Firefighting. EVER! :-P

And now, a transcript from the fire station. "Hey, uh, Ted, do ya see something over there?" "See what?" "I dunno. Kinda looks like smoke." "Smoke?" "Yeah, smoke." "Hmmm, yeah, kinda looks like smoke." "Ya think?" "Yeah, maybe..." This continues for a couple minutes, then "Well, I guess we can go check it out, just in case." "Yeah, might as well give the ol' fire truck a little exercise." ;-)
grinch59
Gene Nowak 0
Now we see what happens to Chinese maintained products. Their produced items don fare any better.
psseshadri
Like "For want of a nail . . ."
Bernie20910
Bernie Behling 0
Type that on a Chinese keyboard, did you?
edboock52
Ed Boock -2
Dumber than a bucket of hammers.

Three minutes? Where did they come from?

Airport manager and all fire personnel. Fired...gone...now.