NTSB Identification: CHI91IA041.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43586.
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of NORTHWEST AIRLINES, INC.
Incident occurred Wednesday, December 05, 1990 in DETROIT, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/30/1992
Aircraft: BOEING 727-257, registration: N715RC
Injuries: 76 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 INCIDENT AIRPLANE EXPERIENCED AN APU FIRE SHORTLY AFTER LANDING WHEN THE APU WAS STARTED. THE AIRPLANE HAD BEEN DEICED AT ITS POINT OF DEPARTURE WITH A GLYCOL AND WATER MIX. COMPANY POLICY CALLED FOR THE FLIGHT CREW TO SHUT OFF THE APU DURING DEICING. THE APU EXHAUST OUTLET IS ON TOP OF THE RIGHT WING NEAR THE FUSELAGE, AND WILL ACCEPT DEICE FLUID INTO THE EXHAUST AND SUBSEQUENTLY THE APU COMBUSTION CHAMBER IF DEICING FLUID IS DIRECTED INTO THE OPENING. GLYCOL IS HIGHLY FLAMMABLE ONCE THE WATER IS VAPORIZED/EVAPORATED. THE APU START FOLLOWING THE LANDING AT DETROIT IGNITED THE RESIDUAL GLYCOL IN THE APU, CAUSING THE EXHAUST STACK FIRE.

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

THE INADEQUATE DEICING PROCEDURES INSTITUTED BY COMPANY MANAGEMENT.

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