US accident investigators have confirmed that American Airlines flight 383, a Boeing 767-300ER that caught fire on the runway at Chicago on 28 October, suffered an uncontained engine failure.
"American Airlines flight 383... aborted its takeoff after an uncontained engine failure on runway 28R here at Chicago O'Hare International Airport," says an accident briefing from the National Transportation Safety Board obtained by FlightGlobal. "As a result of the uncontained engine failure, a fuel pool fire erupted under the right wing."
"Examination of the engine revealed that the stage two disk of the high pressure turbine failed," says the NTSB.
The aircraft was powered by two General Electric CF6-80C2B6 turbofans.
One piece of the disk was found in a UPS warehouse about 0.9km away from the accident site, and another was found about 0.5km from the accident site, the NTSB says.
The agency has recovered about 90% of the engine's stage two disk, it says.
"The failed disk parts will be transported to the NTSB materials laboratory for examination along with the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder," the briefing says. "The engine will be shipped to GE's jet engine facility for teardown."
The aircraft, registration N345AN, was operating a flight to Miami but aborted takeoff and stopped on the runway.
Video and photographs taken at the scene showed the aircraft's right side engulfed in flames as passengers scurried down evacuation slides on the left side of the aircraft.
Photographs also showed that the fire destroyed the entire outer section of the aircraft's right wing.
"Fire damage to fuselage was limited to windows and cosmetic interior. There was no fire in the interior cabin," the NTSB briefing says.
Twenty people were transported to local hospitals but released with minor injuries, the NTSB says. The aircraft was carrying 161 passengers and nine crew members.
The 13-year-old 767-300ER had accumulated 49,900h and 8,020 cycles as of August, Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.
The NTSB initially described the incident as a "tire blowout" and a fire.