NTSB Identification: CEN09IA294
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO
Incident occurred Tuesday, May 12, 2009 in Houston, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/2011
Aircraft: BOEING 737, registration: N371SW
Injuries: 2 Minor,51 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.
Prior to the flight, the flight crew and dispatcher were aware that the anti-skid system was inoperative. They had requested and were granted use of the longest runway for landing. The captain made a normal landing in the target area. After touchdown, he reduced the thrust levers to idle, rapidly brought the speed brake to the full-up detent, employed reverse thrust, and applied manual wheel braking. Marks on the runway showed that about 550 feet after initial touchdown, the right main landing gear tires blew. The tower controller and other aircraft advised the flight crew that there was a fire in the area of the right main landing gear. After the airplane came to a stop, the captain initiated an emergency evacuation on the runway. All 54 persons on-board exited the airplane in 57 seconds, and the fire was extinguished soon after. Two passengers reported minor injuries. The airplane sustained minor damage to the right main landing gear and a portion of the right flap. Examination of data retrieved from the flight data recorder showed that during the touchdown and landing roll, at 19:45:31, the recorded left brake pressure was 770 pounds per square inch (psi). The maximum recorded right brake pressure was 1430 psi at 19:45:32. The maximum recorded left brake pressure was 990 psi. With the anti-skid system disabled, the pilot applying excessive braking during touchdown would cause the wheels to lock and the associated tires to blow. The airplane's quick reference handbook states "Use minimum braking consistent with runway conditions to reduce the possibility of a tire blowout."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: The pilot's inadvertent application of excessive braking after touchdown, which caused the right wheels to lock and several tires to blow and resulted in a subsequent brake fire. Full narrative available
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