Accident McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63F N811CK, Saturday 19 February 2000
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Date:Saturday 19 February 2000
Type:Silhouette image of generic DC86 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63F
Owner/operator:Kitty Hawk International
Registration: N811CK
MSN: 46147/549
Year of manufacture:1971
Total airframe hrs:46087 hours
Engine model:P&W JT3D-7A
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial, repaired
Location:Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, WA (SEA) -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, WA (SEA/KSEA)
Destination airport:Anchorage-Ted Stevens International Airport, AK (ANC/PANC)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The DC-8-63F airplane operated on a cargo flight from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington, to Anchorage, Alaska. The aircraft lost its number 1 and 2 engine cowlings on takeoff from Seattle. Following the separation of the cowlings, the flight returned to Seattle-Tacoma International and landed without further incident. There were no injuries. Post-accident inspection of the aircraft revealed substantial damage to the aircraft's left wing and left horizontal stabilizer.

The aircraft maintenance log indicated that on the previous flight (from Anchorage to Seattle, arriving at 07:18), the flight crew had written up discrepancies that the number 2 engine would not go into reverse thrust, and that the captain's course deviation indicator (CDI) was frozen. The frozen captain's CDI was determined to be a non-deferrable, Aircraft-on-Ground (AOG) item. There was also a deferred maintenance item (DMI) on the number 1 thrust reverser. Due to concerns expressed by the captain of the incoming flight about the operability of the thrust reversers in consideration of icy runway conditions at Anchorage, maintenance also decided to lube, inspect, and check all four thrust reversers for proper operation.
One mechanic working on the number 2 thrust reverser asked the mechanic working on the number 1 thrust reverser to finish up the aircraft and close all engine cowls, since he had already worked over three hours overtime.
The mechanic who worked on the number 1 thrust reverser, and who was asked by the first mechanic to close all engine cowls, reported that he lowered the number 1 and 2 cowling doors, but that he and another mechanic were unable to secure and lock the doors. He stated that about 16:00, they returned to the shop for assistance in locking and securing the cowling doors. He stated that at that time, he entered in the turnover log that all four cowling doors required securing, and also verbally reported this to two other mechanics from the next shift.
One of the company mechanics who took the turnover report on the cowl doors from the first-shift mechanic stated that at about 1530, he received a tie-in from that mechanic (the one assigned to the number 1 thrust reverser) that all cowlings on N811CK needed to be closed.
He noted that the cowlings for the number 1 and number 2 engines were closed and that those for the number 3 and 4 engines were wide open. He assisted in closing the number 3 engine cowl, but did not check the number 1 or number 2 cowlings to ensure that they were secured.
The captain reported that his first indication of any problems was at rotation, when the number 2 engine N2 (high pressure section) RPM indication went to zero and the number 2 engine generator light came on. He stated he also noticed the aircraft roll left slightly at that time. The captain reported that he and his crew were diagnosing the problem when the control tower called and notified him that his aircraft had left debris on the runway during takeoff. The captain stated that he then called company headquarters in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and decided to return to Seattle-Tacoma International.

The flight engineer reported that the cowlings were closed when he arrived at the aircraft, that he observed no abnormalities during the exterior preflight inspection.

The number 1 and 2 engine cowls completely departed the aircraft during the accident sequence. Several cowl sections were found on the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport runway; two cowling sections were also found in a residential area in the Browns Point area of Tacoma, Washington, approximately 10 nautical miles south-southwest of the airport.

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Inadequate inspection of the number 1 and 2 engine cowls by company maintenance personnel and inadequate preflight inspection by the flight engineer, resulting in unsecured cowls separating from the aircraft during takeoff. A factor was unsecured number 1 and 2 engine cowls."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: SEA00LA046
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 2 months
Download report: Final report



Revision history:


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