ASN Aircraft accident Embraer EMB-120RT Brasilia N198SW San Diego International Airport, CA (SAN)
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Status:Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Date:Wednesday 21 May 1997
Type:Silhouette image of generic E120 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Embraer EMB-120RT Brasilia
Operator:SkyWest Airlines
Registration: N198SW
MSN: 120277
First flight: 1991
Total airframe hrs:15646
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW118
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 14
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 17
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Aircraft fate: Repaired
Location:San Diego International Airport, CA (SAN) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature:Domestic Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:San Diego International Airport, CA (SAN/KSAN), United States of America
Destination airport:Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX/KLAX), United States of America
Skywest Flight 724, an Embraer EMB-120, N198SW, experienced a total loss of engine power to the right engine and associated engine fire, followed by a total loss of all airplane hydraulic systems, after takeoff from San Diego International-Lindbergh Field, California. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The 2 pilots, 1 flight attendant, and 14 passengers were not injured.
According to the pilots, about 2,000 feet mean sea level (msl) during the initial climb, a bang sound was heard; the airplane yawed right, and the right propeller auto feathered. Flames were observed by passengers and the cabin attendant emanating from the right engine. The crew performed the engine shutdown and fire check lists, and turned off the fuel within 1 minute of the mishap.
The cockpit crew extinguished the fire using both of the airplane's fire bottles. The cockpit crew then observed that hydraulic and rudder lights on the master alert panel were illuminated, along with the associated hydraulic lights on the overhead panel, which indicated loss of both hydraulic systems.
The crew diverted to Naval Air Station (NAS) Miramar, extended the landing gear manually, and accomplished a landing without flaps. The captain indicated that he landed within the first 2,000 feet of runway 24R. He was unable to use single engine reverse thrust to decelerate because of the loss of nose wheel steering. Additionally, the captain attempted to use the airplane's primary and emergency brakes; however, hydraulic pressure was also lost to these systems. The airplane overran the departure end of the runway and came to rest in the adjacent field.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The failure of maintenance personnel to allow adequate time for the engine oil to drain back into the engine oil reservoir prior to adding additional oil, thereby overfilling the reservoir, which resulted in an engine fire and subsequent damage to hydraulic lines and components, including the brakes, which precluded stopping the airplane prior to overrunning the runway end. An additional factor was the confusing and insufficiently defined procedures for servicing the engine oil."

Accident investigation:

Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 years and 2 months
Accident number: LAX97FA189
Download report: Summary report

Hydraulic system problem
Forced landing on runway



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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 San Diego International Airport, CA to Los Angeles International Airport, CA as the crow flies is 175 km (109 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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