NTSB Identification: SEA02IA092.
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Scheduled 14 CFR operation of Federal Express Corp.
Incident occurred Friday, May 31, 2002 in SEATAC, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/2003
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD-11F, registration: N608FE
Injuries: 2 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 MD-11F freighter was parked on the ramp with electrical power applied undergoing minor corrective maintenance as the crew was preparing for departure. The Captain was conducting the standard "flow" checks ensuring Windshield Anti-Ice selected OFF and Windshield De-Fog selected ON when the co-pilot's forward windshield panel (R1) cracked and the crew observed what they described as flames emanating from the lower portion of the windshield. The Captain de-powered the aircraft and the fire condition dissipated. Post-incident examination of the R1 windshield anti-ice controller revealed shorts within the controller unit which, when power was applied, led to an uncontrollable and continuous application of power to the R1 windshield anti-ice heating element. The continuous power condition led to overheating and subsequent shattering of the windshield while the aircraft was parked on the ramp with system power applied.

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

Failure of the copilot's forward (R1) windshield anti-ice controller resulting in a continuous over voltage condition, followed by the subsequent overheating and shattering of the windscreen.

Full narrative available

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