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Last updated: 20 February 2019
Date:Thursday 17 May 2012
Type:Silhouette image of generic SH36 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Shorts 360-100
Operator:Air Cargo Carriers
Registration: N617FB
C/n / msn: SH.3617
First flight: 1983-07-20 (28 years 10 months)
Total airframe hrs:27504
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65AR
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport, TX (IAH) (   United States of America)
Phase: Taxi (TXI)
Departure airport:Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport, TX (IAH/KIAH), United States of America
Destination airport:Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, TX (AUS/KAUS), United States of America
A Shorts 360, N617FB, was substantially damaged following a wheel brake fire during taxi at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas. The airline transport pilot and commercial co-pilot were not injured. The airplane was taxiing to position for takeoff from runway 8R and its intended destination was Austin, Texas.

The flight crew reported that the airplane was about 60 pounds over its maximum weight for takeoff. Since their taxi to the assigned runway was long, they decided to reduce weight by using higher-than-normal engine power settings while maintaining some amount of braking to control speed while taxiing in order to burn fuel prior to takeoff. During the taxi, the right and left main landing gear tires deflated when the fusible plugs in the wheels blew out due to over-heating, and a fire ignited in the right wheel housing. The crew reported that they felt the airplane yaw as the tires deflated and were informed via radio by a following airplane that their right wheel was on fire. The crew brought the airplane to a stop on the taxiway, evacuated, and attempted to extinguish the fire with two hand-held fire extinguishers. Airport fire fighting personnel arrived on scene and extinguished the fire using foam suppressant. The fire resulted in substantial damage to the wing support structures.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The pilots’ improper decision to burn fuel during the taxi by operating the engines at a higher-than-normal power setting and using the wheel brakes to control taxi speed, which resulted in a wheel fire."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 6 months
Accident number: CEN12LA335
Download report: Summary report




photo of Shorts 360-100 N617FB
photo of Shorts 360-100 N617FB
photo of Shorts 360-100 N617FB
photo of Shorts 360-100 N617FB
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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 display the exact flight path.
Distance from Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport, TX to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, TX as the crow flies is 224 km (140 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s 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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