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B703, Sydney Australia, 1969

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Summary
On 1 December 1969, a Boeing 707-320 being operated by Pan Am and making a daylight take off from Sydney, Australia ran into a flock of gulls just after V1 and prior to rotation and after a compressor stall and observed partial loss of thrust on engine 2 (only), the aircraft commander elected to reject the take off. Despite rapid action to initiate maximum braking and the achievement of full reverse thrust on all engines including No 2, this resulted in an overrun of the end of the runway by 170m and substantial aircraft damage. A full emergency evacuation was carried out with no injuries to any of the occupants. There was no fire.
Event Details
When December 1969
Actual or Potential
Event Type
Bird Strike, Human Factors, Runway Excursion
Day/Night Day
Flight Conditions On Ground - Normal Visibility
Flight Details
Aircraft BOEING 707-300
Operator Pan Am
Domicile United States
Type of Flight Public Transport (Passenger)
Origin Sydney Airport
Intended Destination Honolulu International Airport
Take off Commenced Yes
Flight Airborne No
Flight Completed No
Flight Phase Take Off
TOF
Location - Airport
Airport Sydney Airport
General
Tag(s) Extra flight crew (no training)
BS
Tag(s) Flocking Birds,
Engine damage,
Coastal or Large Inland Water Location,
Engine Ingestion
HF
Tag(s) Procedural non compliance
RE
Tag(s) Overrun on Take Off,
RTO decision after V1
EPR
Tag(s) Emergency Evacuation
Outcome
Damage or injury Yes
Aircraft damage Major
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s) Aircraft Operation
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s) Aircraft Operation
Investigation Type
Type Independent

Description

On 1 December 1969, a Boeing 707-320 being operated by Pan Am and making a daylight take off from Sydney, Australia ran into a flock of gulls just after V1 and prior to rotation and after a compressor stall and observed partial loss of thrust on engine 2 (only), the aircraft commander elected to reject the take off. Despite rapid action to initiate maximum braking and the achievement of full reverse thrust on all engines including No 2, this resulted in an overrun of the end of the runway by 170m and substantial aircraft damage. A full emergency evacuation was carried out with no injuries to any of the occupants. There was no fire.

The Offical Investigation Report was published in August 1970 and concluded that, despite the decision to reject the take off being made after V1, the subsequent overrun was "not inevitable". The conclusion of probable cause was that "in the circumstances of an abandoned take-off, the aircraft could not be brought to a stop within the nominally adequate runway length because of an error in the calculation of load, a reduction in wind velocity from that forecast and the use of rolling start and braking techniques which would not ensure most effective use of the available runway length."

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