SA Airlink RJ85 at Cape Town on Aug 18th 2017, engine fire indication

Last Update: September 15, 2018 / 18:12:48 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Aug 18, 2017

Classification
Incident

Airline
SA Airlink

Flight number
4Z-8676

Aircraft Registration
ZS-ASZ

ICAO Type Designator
RJ85

A South African Airlink Avro RJ-85, registration ZS-ASZ performing flight 4Z-8676/SA-8676 from Cape Town to Pretoria (South Africa), was climbing out of Cape Town's runway 19 when the crew stopped the climb at about 8000 feet declaring Mayday due to a #4 engine (LF507, outboard right hand) fire. The aircraft returned to Cape Town for a safe landing on runway 19 about 10 minutes after departure.

A replacement RJ-85 registration ZS-SSJ reached Pretoria with a delay of 3.5 hours.

South Africa's CAA (SACAA) reported on Sep 20th 2017, that the aircraft was about 9nm southeast of the aerodrome when the crew declared emergency due to the #4 engine on fire.

On Sep 15th 2018 the SACAA released their final report concluding the probable cause of the serious incident was:

The fire warning indication was caused by a leak of hot oil mixed with compressor exit air from a ruptured no. 2 bearing oil scavenge tube that occurred during the breakdown of the no. 2 bearing pack.

The SACAA reported the aircraft was climbing through 6000 feet MSL when the crew received an engine fire warning for engine #4. The crew worked the related checklist and discharged the first fire extinguisher, the indication persisted however. The crew discharged the second fire extinguisher, the indication still continued. While on approach to Cape Town's runway 19 on a 2nm final the fire indication ceased. After landing emergency services reported seeing no fire or smoke.

The SACAA reported the aircraft logs did not reveal any abnormal oil uplift to engine #4 prior to the occurrence flight. An inspection of the engine revealed: "Bearing no.2 package had a worn seal which allowed more than normal compressor exit air into the bearing package via the lubricating system. The aerated oil increased the bearing scavenge oil temperature which caused the fire sleeve of the flexible section of the no.2 bearing oil scavenge tube to melt."

The SACAA further explained that both ends of the flexible section of the no.2 oil scavenge tube were moving freely although they should have been very tight. The SACAA wrote: "Hot oil mixed with compressor exit air leaked from a ruptured no. 2 bearing oil scavenge tube and is likely to have increased the temperature around the engine core to above 182°C which is the trigger temperature of the engine fire warning system."

The SACAA analysed: "Honeywell LF507 engines are a ‘ON CONDITION’ and therefore do not have a defined maximum allowable service life nor even a periodic inspection schedule. At 19 670 CSN the bearing can be subjectively considered to have had a high operating time and therefore it is likely to have failed due to natural fatigue."
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Aug 18, 2017

Classification
Incident

Airline
SA Airlink

Flight number
4Z-8676

Aircraft Registration
ZS-ASZ

ICAO Type Designator
RJ85

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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