Aviation safety investigations & reports

Airbus A300-B4-203, VH-TAC, Melbourne VIC, 18 October 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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As the aircraft was nearing the end of the landing roll, the Tower Controller observed smoke briefly issuing from one of the wheel assemblies. The crew was alerted, and reported that a hot brake temperature warning was indicated on the flight deck. The smoke had not persisted, and the pilot in command elected to continue taxying to the terminal area, in order to allow a normal disembarkation of the passengers. He requested the Tower to monitor the situation. The Airport fire services were summoned and followed the aircraft. Another Tower Controller then reported that fire had broken out in the left maingear. The aircraft was halted and the pilot in command ordered an evacuation. The evacuation proceeded smoothly, but injuries resulted from the use of the escape slides. The fire crews rapidly extinguished the fire and assisted with the evacuation process. Investigation revealed that an electrical short circuit had occurred in a solenoid in the anti-skid system which controls the brakes on one of the left mainwheels. This led to the brakes on the affected wheel being applied continuously. The resulting overheating in turn led to the eventual disintegration of the brake disc and pads, and the outer covering of an hydraulic line caught fire. Considerable overheating of the tyre and wheel rim also took place. The crew had no direct communication with the fire crews on site, and were unaware of the extent of the fire. This had left the pilot in command with no alternative but to order the evacuation of the aircraft.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 18 October 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1315    
Location: Melbourne    
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Fire  
Release date: 03 May 1988   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus Industrie  
Aircraft model A300  
Aircraft registration VH-TAC  
Serial number 157  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Departure point Sydney NSW  
Departure time 1215  
Destination Melbourne VIC