CF188720 Hornet - Epilogue - Flight Safety Investigation Report

Report / May 16, 2007 / Project number: CF188720 - B Category

Location: 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec
Date: 2007-05-16
Status: Investigation Complete

The Flight Safety Investigation Report (FSIR) is available from DFS.


During the return flight from Greenwood, NS, Hornet CF188720 experienced an “engine left” warning followed by an engine fire, after which the left engine was secured by the pilot in accordance with the checklist. At the same time, the aircraft flight control system degraded to operation in MECH mode. The aircraft was safely recovered to Bagotville, QC, via a straight-in approach using a reduced flap setting and at a higher than normal approach speed. The aircraft engaged the arresting cable and was safely stopped on the runway. The pilot secured the right engine with the right engine fire light emergency procedure and proceeded with the emergency ground egress. There were no injuries but the aircraft sustained very serious damage.

The investigation determined that while both engines were operating normally at high power, the left engine suffered an uncontained turbine disk failure.  Specifically, the Low Pressure Turbine (LPT) rotor disk ruptured into segments, destroying the LPT case, splitting the engine in two, starting a fuel and hydraulic fed fire and severely damaging several aircraft systems.

Only a small fragment of the LPT rotor disk was recovered. The investigation examined all the available flight recorder data and the various remaining engine components to establish a sequence of events. All possible failure mechanisms, including the presence of inherent materiel flaws and possible manufacturing, maintenance or operational anomalies were investigated, but ultimately the reason for the rotor disk failure could not be conclusively determined. 

Several proactive measures have already been implemented and the investigation identified additional measures to address perceived deficiencies and improve the probability of early damage detection through the use of targeted non-destructive testing and increased inspection criteria. These measures include improvements and clarifications to the Canadian Forces Technical Orders and engine related work processes, the implementation of all recommendations made by the original equipment manufacturer during its investigation into the engine failure and a review of the documentation process used by the repair and overhaul contractor.

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