NTSB Identification: NYC01IA134.
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Scheduled 14 CFR (D.B.A. Federal Express Corp.)
Incident occurred Friday, May 25, 2001 in Harrisburg, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2003
Aircraft: Boeing 727-233, registration: N277FE
Injuries: 3 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.

While a mechanic was performing a "Predispatch Ops Check" on the airplane from the cockpit, ground personnel notified him that smoke was observed coming from the aft stairwell. Fire extinguishing agents were applied to the area and the fire was contained. Examination of the airplane after the incident revealed that the insulation on a wire to the standby hydraulic system electric motor pump had chafed through, allowing the wire conductor to contact a hydraulic system "A" case drain return line. Approximately four feet above the hydraulic line, a 1-inch by 3/16 inch hole was observed in the backside of a reservoir pressurization line, which was fed by a 13th stage bleed-air line. According to Equipment Quality Analysis Reports submitted by Boeing, the chafing between the standby hydraulic pump electrical power wire, and the hydraulic system "A" case drain return line, exposed the standby pump conductor wire and resulted in electrical arcing/puncture to the system "A" return line, followed by ignition to the mist of hydraulic oil leaking from the hole in the line. The wire bundle/tube chafing condition appeared to have occurred from inadvertent mis-routing of the wire bundle during maintenance activity.

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

The inadvertent misrouting of a wire harness by maintenance personnel, which resulted in chafing to a hydraulic line and electrical wire, and subsequent fire.

Full narrative available

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