ENG08IA022
ENG08IA022

On April 20, 2008, at approximately 0215 GMT, a Kalitta Air, Boeing 747, registration number N704CK, experienced an in-flight engine fire in the No. 3 engine, a Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7Q turbofan after departing Newark International Airport (EWR), Newark, NJ while climbing to 4000 feet. The engine fire warning light illuminated and a fire-warning bell annunciated for the No. 3 engine. The flight crews reported following the engine in-flight failure/fire emergency procedures and shut down the No. 3 engine and discharged a fire agent bottle. The fire indications continued and the flight crew discharged a second bottle that extinguished the fire. An emergency was declared and the aircraft vectored to dump fuel in preparation for landing. Fuel was dumped for about for about twenty-five minutes (approximately 95,000 lbs.) before the airplane was vectored to EWR for landing. The aircraft landed without incident and there were no reported injuries to any of the three (3) crewmembers and two (2) mechanics on board. The airplane was operated under Part 121 as a regularly scheduled cargo flight from Newark to Brussels, Belgium

The airplane exhibited no damage except for minor heat distress to the No. 3 engine right hand core cowl. The engine was removed form the airplane and shipped to the Kalitta Air's maintenance facility in Oscoda, Michigan for further evaluation. Persons from the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing, and Kalitta performed the post fire inspection and leak check of the No. 3 engine.On April 20, 2008, at approximately 0215 GMT, a Kalitta Air, Boeing 747-209F cargo airplane, registration number N704CK, experienced an in-flight engine fire in the No. 3 engine, a Pratt & Whitney JT9D-7Q turbofan after departing Newark International Airport (EWR), Newark, NJ while climbing to 4000 feet. The engine fire warning light illuminated and a fire-warning bell annunciated for the No. 3 engine. The flight crews reported following the engine in-flight failure/fire emergency procedures and shut down the No. 3 engine and discharged a fire agent bottle. The fire indications continued and the flight crew discharged a second bottle that extinguished the fire. An emergency was declared and the aircraft vectored to dump fuel in preparation for landing. Fuel was dumped for about for about twenty-five minutes (approximately 95,000 lbs.) before the airplane was vectored to EWR for landing. The aircraft landed without incident and there were no reported injuries to any of the three (3) crewmembers and two (2) mechanics on board. The airplane was operated under Part 121 as a regularly scheduled cargo flight from Newark to Brussels, Belgium

Photographic documentation of the engine while it was still installed on the airplane was conducted by Kalitta Air and sent to the Safety Board for review. The Safety Board authorized Kalitta Air to remove the engine and to ship it to their engine maintenance facility in Oscoda, Michigan for examination. Persons from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Boeing, and Kalitta Air conducted an external visual examination and performed various fluid leak tests to determine the cause of the fire. Heat distress, fire damage, and sooting were concentrated on the right-hand side of the engine in the area of the accessory fuel ‘race way', PN 65B90247-100. Various oil, fuel, and hydraulic lines and hoses were tested to isolate the source(s) of the flammable fluid leak. The total temperature sensor station 2 (TT2) fuel supply and return hoses, and the engine-driven hydraulic pump supply inlet hose exhibited indications of fluid leak during the pressure tests and were removed and sent to Eaton Aeroquip, the manufacturer all three of the hoses, for a detailed examination.

Persons from the Safety Board, FAA, Kalitta Air, and Eaton Aeroquip participated in the examination of the three hose assemblies at the Eaton facility in Jackson Michigan. Leak testing confirmed that all three hoses had been compromised. Furthermore, the general area of the leaks was in the same physical location on the engine, but not necessarily the same spot on each individual hose. Visual examination of each of the hoses revealed that the fire sleeve had been replaced at sometime during the life of the hoses and the fire sleeve was not the same type as used by Eaton during initial manufacture. Removal of the fire sleeves revealed heat distress, melting, and missing pieces of the Teflon® core. Due to the amount of thermal damage all three hoses exhibited, neither the leak test nor the subsequent visual examination could positively identify which of the three hoses was the initial source of the leak.

A review of the Kalitta's Maintenance Inspection Program, which is based on a FAA approved Maintenance Steering Group - 2 base maintenance schedule, for the airplane revealed that there was no life limit or required pressure test requirements for either the engine driven hydraulic pump supply hose or the TT2 supply and return fuel hoses. Instead the only requirements were a visual inspection/check under the engine cowl that coincides with the airplane's "A"-check and a leak check any time the hoses are disconnected or removed. Since the fire event, Kalitta has instituted several proactive corrective actions. Those changes include Fleet Campaign Directives to perform detailed visual inspection of all hoses in the ‘race way' of the engine, replace installed TT2 fuel hoses with hoses that have been pressure tested in accordance with the manufacturer's requirement, and imposing a life limit on all TT2 fuel hoses.

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