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While on a scheduled passenger flight from Brisbane, Australia, to Los Angeles, US, the crew of the Boeing Company 747-438 aircraft, registered VH-OJD, observed excessive fuel use by the number-three engine. After confirmation that the engine had a fuel leak, the flight crew conducted and in-flight engine shut-down and diverted the aircraft to Sydney.

Inspection of the engine found a fuel manifold drain line had fractured. Detailed examination of the drain line revealed that it had been subjected to high cycle fatigue (HCF), which led to its failure. The HCF was attributed to harmonic resonance from a combustor rumble of unknown origin.

As a result of extensive testing of the engine, the manufacturer redesigned the drain line and reviewed its attachment (clipping) arrangements.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 207KB]
General details
Date: 18 November 2005 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 11:00  
Location   (show map):near Nadi, Aerodrome, Fiji Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: International Occurrence type: Fuel systems 
Release date: 08 November 2006 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: The Boeing Company 
Aircraft model: 747 
Aircraft registration: VH-OJD 
Serial number: 24481 
Type of operation: Air Transport High Capacity 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Brisbane, QLD
Destination:Los Angeles, USA
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Last update 16 February 2016