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Thread: Jet Engne Fires

  1. #1

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    Jet Engne Fires

    Southwest had the engine explosion, that debris went through the window and killed a passenger, their first fatality since founding 47 years ago. Inspection shows one of the vanes missing, since they spin maybe 5000 rpm s it is like a gun shot. SW had another engine blow a year aqo, with wing damage. The hope is that engine debris will be "contained" in the nacelle. Today Delta had an engine fire in fligth and had to return to Atlanta, This one could had been a disaster, the flight was going to London, would have been awful to have an engine on fire halfway across the Atlantic and nowhere to land. Fires in piston airplanes seem to spread but maybe jets have better fire extinguisher systems.
    I,m not sure what the normal inspection procedure for engine vanes, maybe it is just visual, but Southwest says they will do an elctroinice inspection or similar, maybe there is an x ray or sonic or eddy current procedure. It is critical.
    Single engine landings are not unusual in a 727, or similar, I wonder how hard it is, is there a lot of yaw to deal with and extra drag needing higher speeds? The lady Southwest pilot seems to have been expert for the job, was a Navy F18 instructor. I dont know about her multi engine history or large airplane experience, but she had the right stuff as far as being calm. Might make a good president!
    The pilot now lives near Houston.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 04-19-2018 at 04:55 PM.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    ...Inspection shows one of the vanes missing, since they spin maybe 20,000 rpm s it is like a gun shot...
    Non-trivial nitpick: the fan stage on a CFM56 doesn't spin much faster than about 5000 RPM, and the fan diameter is generally around 60". So, yeah, a liberated blade is going to have a lot of kinetic energy, but it's not exactly apocalyptic.

    --Bob K.
    Last edited by BoKu; 04-19-2018 at 05:22 PM.
    Bob Kuykendall
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  3. #3

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    I think FAR 33 requires containment. Read chapter 2 here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...0093611200009X

    I don't know if they test with a blade removed or if they test by explosive release of a blade or something.

  4. #4

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    Pratt & Whitney runs their engines up to speed and has an explosive charge blow off a blade. Very exciting.

    Wes

  5. #5
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    14CFR Part 33, "Airworthiness Standards: Aircraft Engines"

    33.19 Durability.

    (a) Engine design and construction must minimize the development of an unsafe condition of the engine between overhaul periods. The design of the compressor and turbine rotor cases must provide for the containment of damage from rotor blade failure. Energy levels and trajectories of fragments resulting from rotor blade failure that lie outside the compressor and turbine rotor cases must be defined.

    33.94 Blade containment and rotor unbalance tests.

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, it must be demonstrated by engine tests that the engine is capable of containing damage without catching fire and without failure of its mounting attachments when operated for at least 15 seconds, unless the resulting engine damage induces a self shutdown....

    Ron Wanttaja

  6. #6

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    Something could be spit out the front and hit the window. Wouldn't take much. Remember the foam chunk that hit the space shuttle?

  7. #7

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    The contaiment criteria is within the engine itself. What was destroyed on the SWA jet is part of the cowling. In this case, it appears that the blade failed and was ejected foward and out of the engine. It then damaged the cowling and it turned into shrapnel. Usually, when a blade fails, it stays within the engine case and inflicts damage as it passes thru, until it either stops moving, or is ejected through the exhaust. The final report should detail if it was the blade itself or cowling pieces that entered the fuselage.

  8. #8
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    There was a DC-9 that through blades into the cabin killing a woman in the back row a bunch of years back.

  9. #9

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    "Southwest had the engine explosion, that debris went through the window and killed a passenger, their first fatality since founding 47 years ago."

    Well, it's their first passenger fatality. They had another fatal accident at Chicago's Midway airport in 2005 in which a boy was crushed by a 737 that overran the runway upon landing:

    https://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/Pag...rport_Chi.aspx

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