Incident McDonnell Douglas MD-82 ZS-TOG,
ASN logo

Date:Tuesday 13 November 2012
Type:Silhouette image of generic MD82 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
McDonnell Douglas MD-82
Owner/operator:Global Aviation Leasing
Registration: ZS-TOG
MSN: 49905/1767
Year of manufacture:1990
Total airframe hrs:48659 hours
Engine model:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-217A
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 137
Aircraft damage: Destroyed, written off
Location:Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) -   South Africa
Phase: Take off
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB/FAOR)
Destination airport:Lilongwe International Airport (LLW/FWKI)
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The MD-82 aircraft taxied to the threshold of runway 03L at OR Tambo International Airport (FAOR) in reparation to take off on a regional chartered flight to Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, Malawi.
During the initial take-off run from runway 03L the "WHEEL NOT TURNING" light in the cockpit suddenly started flickering intermittently and then remained illuminated constantly without flickering. The Captain immediately aborted the take-off when the left wing of the aircraft suddenly started to droop downwards. The Fire and Rescue Services immediately extinguished a fire that had started at the left-hand main landing gear wheels and brake assemblies. During an onsite inspection, it was discovered that the inboard and outboard main wheel tires were destroyed by scraping onto the runway surface and by the fire that started at the left-hand main wheel brakes and tires.

The CAA investigation team is of the opinion that during the fitment of No.1 wheel assembly, low torque or an improperly seated bearing most probably caused the bearing not to track properly in the bearing race. The uncommon vibration that was felt over the wing area during taxi indicates that No.1 Outboard (smaller) Bearing migrated outboard and dislodged itself. It was then captured by the wheel cap that prevented it from departing completely from the wheel assembly. The No.1
Outboard Bearing also showed very little evidence of deterioration. The No.1 Wheel and Brake Assembly subsequently migrated outboard, and consequently the brake assembly dislodged itself from its locating lug, tilted and jammed the inner bearing and brake rotors, causing a sudden and complete stoppage of the wheel assembly.
As the aircraft was still taxiing, No.1 Tire then deflated due to being stationary and from dragging and friction with the asphalt. With No.1 Tire being flat and during the taxi and maneuvering onto Runway 03L, No.2 Tire took severe strain under the aircraft load. During the start of the takeoff run No.2 Tire most probably burst or deflated but continued rotating whilst No.1 Tire was dragging as indicated by the witness marks on Runway 03L. Both tires then disintegrated during the takeoff run.

Probable Cause:
No. 1 Main wheel bearings failed due to incorrect installation and torque procedures when No 1 main landing gear wheel assembly was replaced, the day before the incident occurred.
Contributory Factor:
The possibility exists that the wheel nut was not even torqued during the wheel replacement as vibration and a rattling noise was coming from the landing gear even during taxing.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: CAA S.A.
Report number: CA18/3/2/0950
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report



photo (c) CAA South Africa; Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB); 13 November 2012

photo (c) Alan Wilson; Johannesburg-O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB); 16 September 2014; (CC:by-sa)

Revision history:


The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314