China Airlines Flight 358
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B-198, the aircraft involved in the accident, at Changi Airport in 1985.
|Date||December 29, 1991|
|Summary||Engine detachment due to improper maintenance|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 747-2R7F|
|Flight origin||Chiang Kai-shek Int'l Airport
|Destination||Anchorage International Airport
Alaska, United States
China Airlines Flight 358 was a Boeing 747-2R7F freighter plane that crashed on December 29, 1991 shortly after takeoff from Chiang Kai-shek International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan. The aircraft was a 747, registration B-198, that had been in service for 11 years, 3 months. The aircraft had clocked a total of 45,868 hours of flight time during its time in service. The last A-check maintenance had occurred on December 21, 1991, and the aircraft had accumulated 74 hours of flight time since that point.
Several minutes after takeoff, the crew reported problems with the #2 engine, prompting Taipei air traffic control (ATC) to vector the flight into a left turn to return to the airport. Approximately two minutes later, the crew reported that they were unable to turn left, and ATC approved a right-hand turn instead. This was the last radio contact made by the crew. The crew lost control of the aircraft and it struck a hill, right wing first, near Wanli, Taipei. The crash occurred at approximately 3:05 PM, at an altitude of 700 feet. All five crewmembers died in the crash, and there were no injuries on the ground.
The subsequent investigation revealed that the number 3 engine and its pylon had separated from the aircraft and struck the number 4 engine, breaking it off the wing as well. A more detailed investigation revealed that the pylon midspar fittings, which attach the pylon to the lower portion of the wing front spar, had failed. The search for the number 3 engine and its pylon, which landed in the sea, took several months.
Information from the investigation of this crash and the nearly identical crash of El Al Flight 1862 10 months later resulted in Boeing ordering pylon modifications to every 747 in use.
The aircraft was the same one involved in the China Airlines Flight 334 hijacking on May 3, 1986.
- Aviation safety – Metal fatigue
- American Airlines Flight 191 – May 25, 1979 – A DC-10 which also suffered a fatigue-induced pylon failure.
- El Al Flight 1862 - October 4, 1992 – Another 747 which also suffered a fatigue-induced pylon failure of almost exactly the same nature; engine number 3 broke off and hit number 4, breaking it off as well.
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