What Caused The 2015 Dynamic International Boeing 767 Engine Fire?

Fort Lauderdale Airport was the scene of a dramatic engine fire back in 2015. The aircraft, a Boeing 767 flying for Dynamic International, had only operated around 240 hours for the airline before it was written off. Passengers and crew escaped safely, but what was the cause of this incident?

Dynamic International 767 engine fire
What caused the fire on the 767? Photo: Getty Images

Just six weeks in operation before the fire

Dynamic Airways was the predecessor to the new Eastern Airlines. Founded in 2010, it flew Boeing 767s on routes from the US to Latin America and the Caribbean. However, it struggled with its own scheduled services, and withdrew to become an ACMI operator in 2017. It went bankrupt at the end of that year, exiting in 2018 as Eastern Airlines.

However, while still operating under the name Dynamic, the airline was involved in a dramatic incident at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, back in October 2015. The aircraft involved was a Boeing 767-200ER, registered N251MY. The almost 30-year-old aircraft had spent time with Kuwait Airways, on lease to EgyptAir and Qatar, and with Kam Air, among others. It arrived with Dynamic just six weeks before the incident occurred, having logged only 240 hours for the airline.

On October 29th, 2015, the aircraft was due to fly to Caracas, Venezuela, as Flight 405. However, as it taxied for departure, the aircraft suffered a significant engine fire. Pilots of a trailing aircraft said that the plane was leaking fuel before the fire broke out. Silver Airways’ crew can be heard on the ATC communications saying, “the engine looks like it’s leaking a lot; I think it’s fuel.”

Dynamic’s crew said they would return to the ramp, but seconds later, voices can be heard on the frequency saying, “engine on fire, engine on fire!”

All passengers and crew were evacuated safely, but 22 were injured in the evacuation. None were burn injuries – mainly just abrasions and seat belt injuries, although one 62-year-old man suffered serious injuries after falling from an evacuation slide.

What caused the fire?

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its final report into the cause of the fire in June 2020, almost five years after the incident. The report indicated that the probable cause of the fire was a fuel leak. The blame was apportioned to maintenance personnel, who apparently failed to properly install a safety lock-wire. The leaked fuel ignited when it came into contact with the hot engine case.

Dynamic International 767 engine fire
The aircraft was damaged beyond repair. Photo: Getty Images

However, the incident was made more severe because the passengers were already evacuating before the aircraft’s engines had been shut down. The 62-year-old who fell off the slide was reportedly blown off by the exhaust, something that would not have happened had the engine been properly shut down. According to the NTSB report,

“The number 2 (right) engine was still running as the passengers evacuated out the 2R door. About 11 seconds after the airplane came to a stop, one of the passengers who evacuated through 2R passed behind the engine, where the exhaust caused him to fall to the pavement resulting in serious injuries. About 35 seconds later, the number 2 engine was shut down.”

The NTSB says that the aircraft sustained damage to its engine strut, nacelle, left wing, left landing gear and the left side of its fuselage. N251MY was written off.