NTSB Identification: CHI00IA087.
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Incident occurred Monday, January 31, 2000 in MILWAUKEE, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/02/2001
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas DC9-32, registration: N203ME
Injuries: 91 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.

During passenger boarding the flight crew was advised of smoke coming from the passenger lavatory. The flight crew instructed the flight attendants to evacuate the aircraft. All passengers and crew members exited normally. Inspection of the aircraft following the incident revealed that wiring internal to the water heater was discolored and melted adjacent to a terminal within the unit. The wire exhibited evidence of chaffing in the area next to the terminal screw. Additionally, it was found that the water heater installation was missing a grounding strap. The Federal Aviation Administration Inspector in conjunction with Midwest Express personnel determined that the missing grounding strap prevented the circuit breaker for the water heater from tripping. Subsequent to the incident, Midwest Express Airlines has inspected their DC9 aircraft to insure that the ground strap is present.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be:

the chafing of the internal water heater wire. A factor was the missing ground strap.

Full narrative available

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