Thursday, September 4, 2008

NTSB: jet engine disintegrated on Tanker 09

More information is confirming that one of the jet engines on the air tanker that crashed on Monday, Tanker 09, failed just before the accident.  
(NTSB lead investigator Tom) Little told reporters on Tuesday that investigators had recovered several large pieces of metal beginning about one-quarter mile north of the runway that appear to have come from the burning engine.

"It appears it had disintegrated and subsequently left the aircraft," he said.

Little said investigators completed accounting for all of the pieces of the plane that remain on Wednesday. He also confirmed there was no last-minute radio communication from the pilots.

"There was no distress call," he said. "When you are in a situation low to the ground and you have an emergency, the last thing you try to do is communicate."
But the investigators are baffled about what actually caused the jet engine to fail.  
"The cause of the fire, that is the question. And that might not be forthcoming for some time," Little said at a briefing Wednesday night.

"I asked the operator if they had ever experienced anything like this and they haven't," he said.
Wildfire Today wrote more about the P2V aircraft and the engines HERE.

A 7-minute video of still photos of Tanker 09 is on YouTube.  It was uploaded to YouTube in December, 2007

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