NTSB Identification: FTW02IA027.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Scheduled 14 CFR operation of America West Airlines Inc. (D.B.A. America West )
Incident occurred Friday, November 02, 2001 in Midland, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/03/2004
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A319-132, registration: N814AW
Injuries: 89 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 transport airplane was in cruise flight at flight level 390 for 12 minutes when they received an "engine oil filter bypass" fault message on the engine centralized aircraft monitoring (ECAM) system; however, all of the engine parameters remained within limits. Subsequently, the oil pressure indication for the #1 (left) engine rose into the red band and a "high vibration and a thumping sound" was felt and heard. The flight crew then declared an emergency and diverted to another airport. The captain reported that during the landing roll, he moved both throttle levers into reverse, and simultaneously the cockpit and cabin began to fill with smoke. Air traffic controllers reported they observed white smoke emanating from the #1 engine during the landing roll. The captain stopped the airplane on the high-speed taxiway, turned off both engines, and an emergency evacuation ensued. The 1L and 2L doors were operated normally; however, the 1R door jammed when the flight attendant attempted to open it. Examination of the 1R door actuator and slide did not reveal the reason it failed to operate. Examination of the engine revealed that debris contamination of the #3 bearing initiated spallation of the bearing's outer ring raceway. Cyclic loading from the bearing balls passing over the growing raceway spall resulted in extensive fretting of the outer diameter surface of the outer ring, from which a fatigue crack was initiated. High-cycle fatigue progression radially through the outer ring was followed by rapid fracture and subsequent liberation of the outer ring fragments. The debris contamination more than likely came from the high-pressure compressor (HPC) stubshaft coating, which was liberated and entered the #3 bearing area causing it to fracture, and the engine to lose power. Research revealed this was one of five similar occurrences, which was traced down to a change in the manufacture process for the HPC stubshaft coating. The manufacturer has taken actions to alert operators of the existing problem.

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

the #1 engine's fatigue failure of the #3 bearing due to the manufacturer's inadequate design of the high-pressure compressor stubshaft coating, which resulted in a loss of engine power and an emergency landing.

Full narrative available

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