Narrative:The aircraft, a Boeing 747-230C, was owned and operated by Air Atlanta Icelandic on a wet lease agreement with Lufthansa. The aircraft was operating a cargo flight, DLH8457, from Sharjah (SHJ) to Frankfurt (FRA).
After push back and engines start-up, at 16:23:24 hr the crew was cleared by ATC to taxi the aircraft to runway 30. From the performance and speed reference cards the crew ascertained the decision speeds for a reduced engine thrust 10° flap takeoff as follows; V1 - 162 KIAS, Vr - 174 KIAS and V2 - 180 KIAS. The crew lined-up the aircraft for a full length take-off and was cleared for take-off at 16:31:42. A surface wind check of 340°/08 kt was passed by the tower controller.
The take-off roll commenced at 16:33:32. During the roll, the first officer made the 80 KIAS call at 16:33:57 followed by the V1 call 26 seconds later. At the same time of the V1 call, the tower controller transmitted to the crew "and Lufthansa there was a bang and you’ve got smoke coming on the right hand side". The commander then aborted the take-off at 16:34:26 whilst maintaining the aircraft on the runway centreline. The speed of the aircraft when aborting actions were first initiated by the crew was 165 KIAS.
The crew indicated that the power levers were brought to idle, full reverse thrust selected, speed brakes deployed and manual application of brakes were made. The aircraft acceleration however, continued to 171 KIAS before decelerating normally but was not able to come to a halt within the accelerate stop distance available.
Just prior to reaching the end of the runway, the commander turned the aircraft to the left to avoid the elevated approach lights at the end of the runway and it came to a stop in an open sand area approximately 30 metres from the prepared surface of the runway in a nose low attitude. The commander then ordered an evacuation and the crew exited through the right upper deck door using ladders provided by personnel from the airport RFF services.
A post accident aircraft inspection found the No 9 wheel of the Right Body Landing Gear had suffered a broken wheel rim, brake and a burst tyre. The No 10 and 12 wheels of the same gear had their tyres blown as well.
The cause of this accident was the termination of the take-off at a speed above V1 with insufficient runway remaining to stop the aircraft safely as a result of the commander’s interpretation that there was smoke and 'fire'.
a) The failure of the No 9 wheel rim during the take-off roll which caused the bang and smoke.
b) The probable use of watermist as a medium to cool hot brakes which may have subject the wheel rims to fail under normal operating loads.
c) The continued usage of the inboard wheel half that should have been retired during year 2000.
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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
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Distance from Sharjah Airport to Frankfurt International Airport as the crow flies is 4819 km (3012 miles).