Narrative:National Airlines Flight 27 departed Houston for Las Vegas and climbed to FL390. Suddenly the No. 3 engine fan assembly disintegrated and fragments penetrated the fuselage the Nos. 1 and 2 engine nacelles, and the right wing area. As a result, the cabin depressurized and one cabin window, which was struck by a fragment of the fan assembly, separated from the fuselage. The passenger who was sitting next to that window was forced through the opening and ejected from the aircraft. The flightcrew initiated an emergency descent, and the aircraft landed safely at Albuquerque International Airport 19 minutes after
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The disintegration of the No. 3 engine fan assembly as a result of an interaction between the fan blade tips and the fan case. The fan-tip rub condition was caused by the acceleration of the engine to an abnormally high fan speed which initiated a multiwave, vibratory resonance within the fan section of the engine. The precise reason or reasons for the acceleration and the onset of the destructive vibration could not be determined conclusively."
Follow-up / safety actions
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Houston-Intercontinental Airport, TX to Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV as the crow flies is 1950 km (1219 miles).