Serious incident Boeing 737-3T0 N13331, Saturday 27 September 1997
ASN logo
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:Saturday 27 September 1997
Time:08:49 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic B733 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Boeing 737-3T0
Owner/operator:Continental Airlines
Registration: N13331
MSN: 23569/1258
Total airframe hrs:34633 hours
Engine model:Cfm CFM56-3B
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 134
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:Seattle, WA -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:(KSEA)
Destination airport:Houston, TX (KIAH)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The crew reported that at liftoff, 'considerable aileron and rudder input' was required to maintain straight and level flight, and that when aileron input was reduced to zero, at least 5 units of left rudder trim was required to maintain wings-level flight. The crew returned to the departure airport and landed without further incident. Postflight troubleshooting revealed that the ABSB-4 right aileron bus cable was broken and the ABSA-4 right aileron bus cable was frayed, both where the cables ride over the right wing/body joint aileron pulleys. Examination of the cables at the NTSB materials laboratory concluded that the ABSB cable failure was the result of severe internal wear due to normal movement of the cable over a pulley for an extended period of time. Examination also noted several areas of severe external wear on the cables. The airplane maintenance manual, which specifies inspection of exposed cables at each 'C' check (approximately once per year), contains procedures for checking cables for broken wires and gauging the extent of external wear. An 'optional as needed' step also specifies cable replacement based on reduction of cable cross sectional area. The airplane received a segmented 'C' check, which included inspection of aileron cables, approximately 6 weeks prior to the incident.

Probable Cause: Separation of the ABSB-4 aileron bus cable, resulting in reduced lateral controllability of the aircraft. Related factors were wear in the cable and inadequate inspection of the cable by company maintenance personnel.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: SEA97IA219
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 6 months
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

10 March 1988 N13331 Continental Airlines 0 Greensboro, NC non
Near miss with other aircraft


Revision history:

12-Mar-2024 09:29 ASN Update Bot Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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