Narrative:ONA Flight 032 left the gate at 12:56 EST for a ferry flight to Jeddah via Frankfurt. The passengers were all ONA employees. The aircraft taxied to runway 13R and commenced take-off at 13:10. Shortly after accelerating through 100 knots, but before reaching the V1 speed, a flock of birds were seen to rise from the runway. The aircraft struck many birds and the take-off was rejected. Bird strikes had damaged the no. 3 engine's fan blades, causing rotor imbalance. Fan-booster stage blades began rubbing on the epoxy micro balloon shroud material; pulverized material then entered into the engine's HPC area, ignited and caused the compressor case to separate. A fire erupted in the right wing and no. 3 engine pylon. The aircraft couldn't be stopped on the runway. The pilot-in-command steered the aircraft off the runway onto taxiway Z at a 40 knots speed. The main undercarriage collapsed and the aircraft came to rest against the shoulder of the taxiway. The successful evacuation may be partially attributed to the fact that nearly all passengers were trained crew members.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "The disintegration and subsequent fire in the No.3 engine when it ingested a large number of seagulls. Following the disintegration of the engine, the aircraft failed to decelerate effectively because: 1) The No.3 hydraulic system was inoperative, which caused the loss of the no.2 brake system and braking torque to be reduced 50 percent; 2) the no.3 engine thrust reversers were inoperative; 3) at least three tyres disintegrated; 4) the no.3 system spoiler panels on each wing could not deploy; and 5) the runway surface was wet. The following factors contributed to the accident: 1) The bird-control program at John F. Kennedy airport did not effectively control the bird hazard on the airport; and 2) the FAA and the General Electric Company failed to consider the effects of rotor imbalance on the abradable epoxy shroud material when the engine was tested for certification."
» Aviation Week & Space Technology 25.07.1977 (61-63), 8.8.1977 (73-75), 15.08.1977 (61, 63, 64)
» Focus on commercial aviation safety issue 19 (summer 1995)
» NTSB Safety Recommendations A-76-13
Official accident investigation report
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 New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, NY to Frankfurt International Airport as the crow flies is 6145 km (3841 miles).