Atlas Air Boeing 747-8 Freighter Makes Safe Return to Miami After Engine Fire Alert


Photo: Jet Photos

Kathmandu,Nepal: On January 18, 2024, an Atlas Air Boeing 747-8 Freighter, operating Flight 3885 from Miami International Airport to San Juan, Puerto Rico, encountered a harrowing incident shortly after takeoff.

As the aircraft ascended, pilots in the cockpit received a critical warning signal indicating a potential fire in engine number 2. With the aircraft climbing through 3,000 feet, the warning light illuminated, followed by the activation of the firebell sound. Responding swiftly to the emergency, the flight crew took decisive action by promptly shutting down the affected engine.

Despite the distressing situation, the flight crew successfully navigated the aircraft back to Miami International Airport, where it landed safely. Ground imagery and videos captured the visibly troubled engine during the incident.

Following standard protocols, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) initiated a thorough investigation into the event. Less than a month after the incident, the NTSB released its preliminary findings, shedding light on the sequence of events and uncovering crucial details.

The preliminary inspection focused on the General Electric GEnx-2b67 engine, which powers the Atlas Air 747-8F. Investigators discovered evidence of a burn-through in the thrust reverser fan duct fixed inner wall. However, the engine cases remained intact, ruling out an uncontained engine failure.

Of particular interest was the discovery that the combuster diffuser nozzle case port M borescope plug was found loose in the engine cowling. This finding raised questions about maintenance procedures, as inspections conducted just four days prior by a third-party vendor had labeled the work as completed.

While the preliminary report provides valuable insights, the NTSB emphasized that its investigation is ongoing, and a final report is forthcoming. The meticulous examination of evidence and analysis of maintenance records will continue to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident, ensuring comprehensive understanding and preventing future occurrences.


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