NTSB Identification: CHI02LA069
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier (D.B.A. Northwest Airlines)
Accident occurred Thursday, January 24, 2002 in Indianapolis, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2002
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas DC-9-41, registration: N754NW
Injuries: 1 Serious,74 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

A passenger suffered a broken wrist when he fell off the side of the slide during an emergency evacuation. The airplane was positioned near the end of the runway with the engines shut down during an air traffic control delay. After approximately 15 minutes, the flightcrew was informed by ground control that they should start their engines, as they would probably be released for takeoff soon. The captain reported they were unable to start the right engine. They performed the "clearing procedure" and then went on to start the left engine with no problem. They then attempted to start the right engine again. Airport Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) personnel were parked near the airplane reported to air traffic control that there were smoke and flames coming from the right engine. There were no fire warning indications in the cockpit. The flightcrew performed the ENGINE FIRE checklist and subsequently discharged both fire suppressant bottles into the engine. The flightcrew eventually shut down both engines and ARFF requested that the flightcrew begin evacuating the airplane. All of the passengers were directed to the front of the airplane and the evacuation took place using the 1L and 1R doors. A witness reported that the injured passenger stepped out of the airplane onto the slide. The passenger bounced down the slide and went over the side of the slide approximately four to five feet above the ground. The investigation revealed the engine start fuel scheduling for the Fuel Control Unit was high. In addition, the ignition exciter box and igniter plugs were tested. The ignition exciter box was found to operate intermittently on the D.C. circuit which would be used for engine start.

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

The passenger fell off the side of the slide during the emergency evacuation. Factors were the emergency evacuation and the erratic ignition exciter.

Full narrative available

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