NTSB Identification: LAX00LA223.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 12, 2000 in LAS VEGAS, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/21/2001
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A320-232, registration: N655AW
Injuries: 152 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During takeoff, as the airplane accelerated through takeoff rotation speed (Vr), the outboard, forward cowl door on the left (number 1) engine separated from the engine nacelle and struck the horizontal stabilizer. The pilot reported there had been an abnormal vibration as the aircraft accelerated through Vr. Several passengers pressed their flight attendant call buttons and alerted the flight attendants who, in turn, reported the cowling separation to the cockpit crew. The return for landing at the departure airport was unremarkable. The cowl door over-center type latches on the inboard door were found latched, however, the hooks were intact and undamaged. Similarly, the latch receptacles on the outboard door were visibly undamaged. The latches were painted red. An "RON-check" (Remain Over Night) had been performed during hours of darkness the previous night, which required that the cowling doors be opened. In the morning, the aircraft was handed over from the maintenance graveyard shift to the day shift. Maintenance items remained to be completed in areas of the aircraft other than the number 1 engine. The takeoff where the cowling separated was the first flight following return to service.

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

The failure of the mechanic to refasten the cowling door prior to returning the aircraft to service.

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