Accident Airbus A320-232 N655AW,
ASN logo

Date:Monday 12 June 2000
Type:Silhouette image of generic A320 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airbus A320-232
Owner/operator:America West Airlines
Registration: N655AW
MSN: 1075
Year of manufacture:1999
Total airframe hrs:3012 hours
Engine model:IAE V2527-A5
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 152
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV (LAS) -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, NV (LAS/KLAS)
Destination airport:Columbus-Port Columbus International Airport, OH (CMH/KCMH)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
An Airbus A320-232, N655AW, was substantially damaged when the engine cowling separated and struck the horizontal stabilizer during takeoff at Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, Nevada. There were no injuries. The aircraft was operated by America West Airlines as flight 2747, a regularly scheduled domestic passenger flight, destined for Columbus, Ohio.
According to the operator, the pilot reported there had been an abnormal vibration as the aircraft accelerated through takeoff rotation speed (Vr). Several passengers pressed their flight attendant call buttons and alerted the flight attendants who, in turn, reported the cowling separation to the cockpit crew. The return for landing at the departure airport at 13:31 was unremarkable. The aircraft was taxied to the terminal gate and the passengers deplaned normally.

Postflight inspection revealed that the outboard, forward cowl door on the left (number 1) engine had separated from the engine nacelle. There was a 10-inch cut through the landing gear (strut) door and there were 3 holes in the lower surface of the left horizontal stabilizer, each approximately 2 inches wide and 8 inches long. The cowling door hold-open rod penetrated the lower skin and aft spar web of the horizontal stabilizer. No damage was observed on the wing or wing flap. The opposite (inboard) cowl door and the "bull nose," where the two doors hinge at the 12 o'clock position, were damaged but remained attached to the nacelle. The cowl door over-center type latches on the inboard door were found latched, however, the hooks were intact and undamaged. Similarly, the latch receptacles on the outboard door were visibly undamaged. The latches were painted red.
The operator reported that the aircraft remained overnight in Las Vegas and an "RON-check" (Remain Over Night) had been performed during hours of darkness. The RON-check required that the cowling doors be opened; however, the mechanic performing the work reported that the cowl doors were closed and re-latched about 05:30 - 06:00 during hours of daylight. In the morning, the aircraft was handed over from the maintenance graveyard shift to the day shift. Maintenance items remained to be completed in areas of the aircraft other than the number 1 engine. The takeoff where the cowling separated was the first flight following return to service.

The failure of the mechanic to refasten the cowling door prior to returning the aircraft to service.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: LAX00LA223
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Download report: Final report



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