NTSB Identification: ATL02LA075.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 05, 2002 in Atlanta, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/2003
Aircraft: Boeing 767-332ER, registration: N1608
Injuries: 199 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.

The Boeing 767-332ER, experienced an in-flight separation of the auxiliary power unit doors while climbing to the assigned cruise altitude. According to the Captain, as the airplane climbed through 15, 000 feet, and accelerated through 320 knots, he heard a loud bang. He elected to reduce the airspeed to 270 knots and return to Atlanta. The flight landed in Atlanta without further incident. A review of maintenance records showed that the auxiliary power unit (APU) had been serviced by ground maintenance personnel about one hour before the airplane departed. The examination of the airframe revealed that both APU doors were missing from their normally installed positions. Examination of the APU door assembly failed to disclose a mechanical problem with the door latching assemblies.

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

Company maintenance personnel inadequate maintenance inspection that resulted in the in-flight separation of the APU inspection doors.

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