On August 24, 2002, about 2136 Atlantic standard time, a Boeing 767-332ER, N178DN, registered to and operated by Delta Air Lines, as a Title 14 CFR Part 121 international passenger flight, had a fuel spill in Buenos Aires, Argentina, while the flight was preparing to depart to Atlanta, Georgia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. The airline transport-rated pilot, 11 crewmembers and 195 passengers were not injured, and the airplane was not damaged. The flight was originating at the time of the incident.

According to an official with the Government of Argentina, the airplane had just pushed back from the gate, and the flightcrew had started the No. 1 engine, and when they tried to start the No. 2 engine a fuel line associated with the No. 2 engine failed and spilled about 1,400 pounds of fuel in 10 minutes.

Examination of the aircraft revealed that a nut assembly forward of the right engine pylon front spar had failed and had produced the fuel leak. There was evidence of fatigue from multiple origination points in the nut coupling, as well as the presence of ratchet marks on the fracture surface of the nut. The failed nut showed uneven wear on the severed nut piece, as well as in the internal ring of the nut, consistent with either the nut, or the fuel line having been misaligned. The thread condition showed no evidence of an over torqued or misthreaded condition, however the O-rings showed evidence of degradation.

This investigation is under the jurisdiction of the Government of Argentina. Any further information can be obtained from :

Junta de Investigacion de Accidentes de Aviacion Civil
Avenida Belgrano 1370 - Piso 11 B
1093 Buenos Aires, Argentina

Telephone: 011-541-14-381-6333
Fax: 011-541-14-381-6333

This report is for information purposes only, and contains information released by or obtained for the Government of Argentina.

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