Accident description
Last updated: 2 October 2014
Status:
Date:Saturday 22 August 1981
Time:ca 10:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic B732 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing 737-222
Operator:Far Eastern Air Transport - FEAT
Registration: B-2603
C/n / msn: 19939/151
First flight: 1969-04-30 (12 years 4 months)
Cycles:33313
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7A
Crew:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Passengers:Fatalities: 104 / Occupants: 104
Total:Fatalities: 110 / Occupants: 110
Airplane damage: Destroyed
Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Miao-Li (   Taiwan) show on map
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Taipei-Sung Shan Airport (TSA/RCSS), Taiwan
Destination airport:Kaohsiung International Airport (KHH/RCKH), Taiwan
Flightnumber: 103
Narrative:
FEAT's Boeing 737 B-2603 was used extensively on domestic flights within Taiwan since being acquired from United Airlines in April 1976.
On August 5, 1981 the aircraft lost cabin pressure during a flight from Taipei (TSA) to Kaohsiung (KHH). On August 22 the 737 took off from Taipei on a flight to Makung (MZG). Ten minutes after take-off from there was a loss of cabin pressure. The flight crew returned to Taipei, where repair work was carried out. Later that day the aircraft entered service again as Flight 103 to Kaohsiung. Fourteen minutes after take-off the aircraft suffered an explosive decompression and disintegrated.


PROBABLE CAUSE: "Extensive corrosion damage in the lower fuselage structures, and at a number of locations there were corrosion penetrated through pits, holes and cracks due to intergranular corrosion and skin thinning exfoliation corrosion, and in addition, the possible existence of undetected cracks because of the great number of pressurization cycles of the aircraft (a total of 33,313 landings), interaction of these defects and the damage had so deteriorated that rapid fracture occurred at a certain flight altitude and pressure differential resulting rapid decompression and sudden break of passenger compartment floor beams and connecting frames, cutting control cables and electrical wiring. And eventually loss of power, loss of control, midair disintegration."

Classification:
Fuselage failure
Loss of control

Sources:
» NTSB/AAR-89/03
» Flight International 05.09.1981 (703)


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Map
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 Taipei-Sung Shan Airport to Kaohsiung International Airport as the crow flies is 301 km (188 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Networkĺs opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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