Serious incident ATR 72-212 N438AT,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 355747
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Date:Saturday 14 June 1997
Time:17:25 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic AT72 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
ATR 72-212
Owner/operator:Simmons Airlines
Registration: N438AT
MSN: 438
Total airframe hrs:5444 hours
Engine model:P&W PW-127
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 32
Aircraft damage: Minor
Category:Serious incident
Location:Dallas, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:Houston, TX (KHOU)
Destination airport:(KDFW)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The ATR-72-12 transport airplane was at 5,000 feet MSL when the #2 engine fire warning light illuminated. After shutting down the #2 engine and actuating the fire extinguishing system, the crew executed a single engine landing followed by a normal taxi to the ramp and normal passenger debarkation. Inspection of the P&W 127 series engine showed that a fuel transfer tube adjacent to the #2 nozzle was misaligned and 'backed out' of its retaining clip. Fuel streaking and fire damage were evident down the right side of the engine from the #2 nozzle downward along the fuel nozzle ring assembly. The incident occurred 3.4 hours after the fuel nozzles, retaining clips, and transfer tubes were replaced during maintenance on the #2 engine. The engine manufacturer had published several service bulletins addressing the potential of incorrectly installing the retaining clips and recommending that existing clips be replaced with stronger lock plates that provide a positive locking mechanism to avoid misalignment during installation. The manufacturer issued a Service Bulletin in October 1994 and Transport Canada issued an AD in November 1996, both citing how the retaining clips could be installed 'out of position' and recommending that operators use the newer lock plate. The FAA had published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on July 17, 1995, addressing the aforementioned issues. FAA AD 98-14-02 was published in the Federal Register on July 1, 1998. The AD was similar to the Canadian AD issued on November 19, 1996.

Probable Cause: the engine fire during descent resulting from a loose, leaking fuel transfer tube due to improper installation and alignment of the transfer tube's retaining clip. Contributing factors were the inadequate design of the clamp, the failure of the operator to comply with the recommendations of the manufacturer's Service Bulletin (SB), and the failure of the FAA to issue an Airworthiness Directive to mandate the manufacturer's SB.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: FTW97IA222
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 4 years 1 month
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft
9 May 2004 N438AT American Eagle Airlines 0 San Juan-Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) w/o

Revision history:

12-Mar-2024 15:12 ASN Update Bot Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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