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Accident Report Detail

Uncontained Engine Failure Delta Air Lines Flight 1288 McDonnell Douglas MD-88, N927DA

Executive Summary

On July 6, 1996, at 1424 central daylight time, a McDonnell Douglas MD-88, N927DA, operated by Delta Air Lines Inc., as flight 1288, experienced an engine failure during the initial part of its takeoff roll on runway 17 at Pensacola Regional Airport in Pensacola, Florida. Uncontained engine debris from the front compressor front hub (fan hub) of the No. 1 (left) engine penetrated the left aft fuselage. Two passengers were killed and two others were seriously injured. The takeoff was rejected, and the airplane was stopped on the runway. The airplane, which was being operated by Delta as a scheduled domestic passenger flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 121, with 137 passengers and 5 crew on board, was destined for Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.

Safety issues discussed in this report include the limitations of the blue etch anodize process, manufacturing defects, standards for the fluorescent penetrant inspection process, the performance of nondestructive testing, the use of alarm systems for emergency situations, and instructions regarding emergency exits. Recommendations concerning these issues were made to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the fracture of the left engine’s front compressor fan hub, which resulted from the failure of Delta Air Lines’ fluorescent penetrant inspection process to detect a detectable fatigue crack initiating from an area of altered microstructure that was created during the drilling process by Volvo for Pratt & Whitney and that went undetected at the time of manufacture. Contributing to the accident was the lack of sufficient redundancy in the in-service inspection program.

Accident Location: Pensacola , FL    
Accident Date: 7/6/1996
Accident ID: DCA96MA068

Date Adopted: 1/13/1998
NTSB Number: AAR-98-01
NTIS Number: PB98-910401