NTSB Identification: LAX97IA209.
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Scheduled 14 CFR RENO AIR
Incident occurred Tuesday, June 17, 1997 in LAS VEGAS, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2000
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD-83, registration: N875RA
Injuries: 145 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
The aircraft experienced an uncontained left engine failure during the initial climb after takeoff. The flight returned to the airport, and an uneventful landing was made. The engine was removed and returned to the repair facility that performed major repairs just 76.9 flight hours prior. During the teardown examination, the No. 5 bearing inner race retaining nut oil supply holes were found plugged. According to the Pratt and Whitney Standard Practices Manual, the procedure for the plating of silver over steel specified that the No. 5 bearing race should have been grit blasted to remove old plating per Service Process Operations Procedure (SPOP) 10, which specified use of PMC 3052-9 aluminum oxide grit. The SPOP consumable materials list identified PMC 3052-9 as 500 aluminum oxide grit. The actual processing of the nut included grit blasting with 120 grit aluminum oxide, contrary to P&W recommendation to use 200 to 500 aluminum grit oxide media or glass beads. The nut was to be cleaned and flushed after the blasting.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: the maintenance/overhaul facility's improper repair, which led to obstructed oil supply hole(s) at the #5 bearing inner race, then oil starvation and subsequent uncontained engine failure. Full narrative available
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