Japanese suspect missing washer led to 737 fuel tank fire

IrishSheepdog

Sitting in the median
Japanese suspect missing washer led to 737 fuel tank fire

A Japanese investigation, into a China Airlines (CAL) Boeing 737-800 that had a fuel tank fire last year, has said it is highly possible CAL maintenance personnel failed to attach a washer to the bolt on the right wing slat and that is why the bolt moved, puncturing the fuel tank.

Japan's Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission made the remark in its preliminary report into the CAL 737-800, local registration B-18616, that caught fire on 20 August last year soon after landing at Naha airport on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.

The commission disclosed last year that it had found a bolt on the 737-800's right wing slat that had pierced the fuel tank creating a 2-3cm hole.

The fuel leaking from the tank then ignited creating a fire that completely destroyed the aircraft and led the 165 people on board to disembark quickly to safety.

But until the release of the preliminary report, the reason for the bolt moving had always remained unexplained.

The Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission says since the incident Boeing has changed the design of the bolt nut to make it larger.

CAL has responded to the preliminary report by issuing a statement saying it "reviewed its maintenance records and confirmed that it completed the required inspections in a timely manner on its 737-800 aircraft" and in accordance with "Boeing's service letters and service bulletins."

"The aircraft involved in the incident completed its inspection from 6-13 July 2007, prior to the event in Okinawa," it adds.
 

frog_flyer

FredFlyer
Re: Japanese suspect missing washer led to 737 fuel tank fir

Chief Chimichanga or Okinawa or Hiroshima needs to find a new acronym for their acronym other than "CAL"
 

Minuteman

“Dongola”
Re: Japanese suspect missing washer led to 737 fuel tank fir

Yeah, why come Continental likes to use 'CAL'? Aren't they supposed to be 'COA'?
 

AZBigDog

Well-Known Member
Re: Japanese suspect missing washer led to 737 fuel tank fir

Japanese suspect missing washer led to 737 fuel tank fire

A Japanese investigation, into a China Airlines (CAL) Boeing 737-800 that had a fuel tank fire last year, has said it is highly possible CAL maintenance personnel failed to attach a washer to the bolt on the right wing slat and that is why the bolt moved, puncturing the fuel tank.

Japan's Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission made the remark in its preliminary report into the CAL 737-800, local registration B-18616, that caught fire on 20 August last year soon after landing at Naha airport on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.

The commission disclosed last year that it had found a bolt on the 737-800's right wing slat that had pierced the fuel tank creating a 2-3cm hole.

The fuel leaking from the tank then ignited creating a fire that completely destroyed the aircraft and led the 165 people on board to disembark quickly to safety.

But until the release of the preliminary report, the reason for the bolt moving had always remained unexplained.

The Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission says since the incident Boeing has changed the design of the bolt nut to make it larger.

CAL has responded to the preliminary report by issuing a statement saying it "reviewed its maintenance records and confirmed that it completed the required inspections in a timely manner on its 737-800 aircraft" and in accordance with "Boeing's service letters and service bulletins."

"The aircraft involved in the incident completed its inspection from 6-13 July 2007, prior to the event in Okinawa," it adds.


We just completed a fleet campaign to inspect for proper hardware installation on the 737 slat tracks. When the slats retract, their respective tracks and retaining hardware are guided into recesses in the wing structure. There is very little room in these recesses and it was easy to see that any amount of play in the hardware could result in damage to the fuel tank wall.

Just to add, the aircraft I performed inspections on were -300 series aircraft. There maybe a difference in the amount of space in those recesses as compared to the -800s.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled program.

Al
 

Realms09

Well-Known Member
Re: Japanese suspect missing washer led to 737 fuel tank fir

It's amazing what small changes to an engineered machine can accomplish, or in this case, destroy. It may be difficult for a human to connect a truant washer with a destroyed aircraft when conducting a preflight, but physics finds no obstacle. Thanks for the post FlyChicaga.
 
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