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Undercarriage fire on 767 behind Shannon closure

Irish investigators have indicated that an undercarriage fire followed an aborted take-off by a Boeing 767-300 at Shannon, forcing the airport's closure.

The incident, involving an Omni Air International aircraft, occurred at about 06:10 and closed the main runway 06/24.

Some 25min earlier, at 05:45, the aircraft had been given clearance to take off from runway 24 but informed the tower controller shortly afterwards that the aircraft was aborting the departure roll owing to an "open window".

The crew was given the option to backtrack but explained that they expected 30-40min cooling time for the brakes.

Shannon tower transmissions show that the crew had to deal with a flightplan problem, requiring the flightplan to be refiled, and was given a new set of taxiing instructions in the meantime. But a couple of minutes later, at about 06:12, the controller asked the crew whether the aircraft was emitting smoke.

"Is that the brakes, is it?" he queried, referring to the left-hand undercarriage of the jet.

The crew responded by stating that the aircraft was stopping on the runway, and requesting firefighting vehicles and a tug.

Controllers subsequently added that a fire was starting on the left-hand main bogie, to which the crew replied that they would evacuate the aircraft from the right side. The radio communications were archived by LiveATC.

Although the tower controller had originally expected only a few minutes' delay while the aircraft was towed off the runway, the airport operator subsequently kept the runway shut until the Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit permitted the jet's removal.

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