NTSB Identification: DCA88IA056.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40452.
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of UNITED AIRLINES
Incident occurred Monday, May 02, 1988 in NR TOKYO,JAPAN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/1990
Aircraft: BOEING 747-123, registration: N157UA
Injuries: 258 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.

UNITED FLT 97 EXPERIENCED INDICATIONS OF UNEVEN FUEL FLOW FROM MAIN TANKS 2 AND 3 AT FL360 BEGINNING ABOUT 4- HOURS AFTER DEPARTURE ON AN 11-HOUR TRANSPACIFIC FLIGHT. THE FUEL SYSTEM HAD BEEN SET UP FOR ALL ENGINE FEED FROM THE NOS 2 AND 3 TANKS. ALTHOUGH IT WAS LATER ESTABLISHED THAT THE NUMBER 2 CROSSFEED VALVE FAILED IN THE CLOSED POSITION, THE S/O INFORMED THE CAPT THAT THE INTRANSIT LIGHT HAD ILLUMINATED WHEN THE VALVE SELECTOR WAS MOVED TO THE CLOSED POSITION - INDICATING NORMAL CROSSFEED VALVE OPERATION. FUEL SYSTEM PROBLEM WAS MISDIAGNOSED AS A PROBLEM OF FAULTY FUEL GAGE INDICATIONS. FUEL MONITORING INDICATED INSUFFICIENT FUEL FLOW FROM NO 2 TANK WHEN CROSSFEEDING. ENGS 1, 3, AND 4 FLAMED OUT WHEN FUEL WAS EXPENDED FROM ALL TANKS EXCEPT NO 2. EMERGENCY DESCENT WAS MADE TO DESTINATION TOKYO-NARITA AIRPORT. CREW REPORTED THEY USED FLAPS-20, BUT DFDR SHOWED FLAPS-1 WAS USED FOR LANDING. 3 TIRES BLEW ON LANDING. ALL 3 FLIGHTCREW QUALIFIED IN THE B-747 IN THE 13-MONTHS BEFORE THE INCIDENT.

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

FLUID,FUEL..STARVATION

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

FUEL SYSTEM..IMPROPER USE OF..FLIGHT ENGINEER

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

PROCEDURES/DIRECTIVES..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

FUEL SYSTEM..FAILURE,PARTIAL



Contributing Factors

LOWERING OF FLAPS..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

FUEL SYSTEM,CROSS-FEED VALVE..MOVEMENT RESTRICTED


Contributing Factors

LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH AIRCRAFT..FLIGHT ENGINEER


Contributing Factors

LACK OF TOTAL EXPERIENCE IN TYPE OF AIRCRAFT..PILOT IN COMMAND



Contributing Factors

CREW/GROUP COORDINATION..INADEQUATE

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