Date:         10 Nov 96 04:52:41 
From:         Reid Fairburn <>
References:   1 2 3 4
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At 05:24 AM 11/8/96, you wrote:
>In article <airliners.1996.2294@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
>>In January '89 there was a British Midland 737-400 (Flt BD-92) which crashed
>>just short of the runway at East Midlands airport, England. A fan blade had
>>failed on one engine. The crew shut down the wrong one and for various reasons
>>did not realize it until the engine failed completely late on final.
>>The AAIB reports online don't seem to go back that far - but there was
>>an April 89 Flight international editorial on the potential ETOPS implications
>>of this crash. This can be found at :
>>Some people would say that one engine becoming inoperable and the other
>>being shut down does not constitute a "double failure". Such semantic
>>quibbling is irrelevant. If the engines aren't running, they're not running.
>It would be better to compare only those aircraft that are approved for ETOPS.
>A 737 is not approved for ETOPS so its reliability does not play a role in the
>Also, As for shutting down the wrong engine.  Do you know the details? Was it
>crew error? Was it caused by confusion due to the cockpit design?  Without
>these and other details any comparison for use in the original question about
>ETOPS and reliability are meaningless

=======Twas on a dark night, as the airplane was climbing through 26,000 ft
or so that a bang was heard, smoke and the smell of burning metal filled the
airplane, and the airplane started vibrating so bad that  the pilots
probably had trouble reading the instruments. The throttles were chopped to
idle, and things started to settle down.  The airplane was almost overhead
Midlands as it happened so the pilot decided that was the place to go.  With
the throttles at idle, there still was some degree of vibration and smoke
kept up so an attempt to identify the bad engine was made...during which,
one person who was facing the back of the airplane said it was the engine on
the right which was dropping sparks and what all.  This led the pilot I
believe to shutdown the right about CRM!  The smoke had slowed
down and the crew went about setting up for the landing at Midlands.  Idle
power was maintaine while the airplane descended down, spiraling I would
guess so as to not get far from the runway.  On final, the gear and flaps
were lowered and the airplane slowed for final...then the left engine thrust
was added to make it to the runway.  Alas, in all the excitement and
confusion of the emergency, the wrong engine had been shut down and when the
thrust was advanced...the engine gave up the ghost and quit.  A quick start
was attempted, but since the altitude was now down to around 1500-1000
AGL,and slow, there was not a chance it would crank in time.  The pilot made
a valiant effort to miss a town by pulling up and giving away his airspeed,
which resulted in a sink into the autobahn...not more than 3000 ft or so
short of the overrun.   Total destruction ensued with some left alive and
others dead.   Monday morning quarterbacking led to some criticism of the
crew but when you are not in the game, it is hard to understand all the

This is from my recollection of the accident...which we know happened a long
time ago.  Old men forget so treat it as such.

Reid Fairburn
Creative Kingdom, Inc.