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Narrative:Prior to departure from Amsterdam (AMS), the flight crew noted anomalies with the airplane clocks. Once corrected, they proceeded with the flight. En route, the airplane experienced numerous electrical anomalies where various warning lights would illuminate, and then extinguish. These occurrences were also accompanied by uncommanded auto-pilot disconnects, changes in airplane zero fuel weight, as displayed on the control display unit (CDU) of the flight management system (FMS), and the blanking of transponder codes.
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 202|
|Aircraft damage:|| Minor|
|Location:||Boston-Logan International Airport, MA (BOS) -
United States of America
|Phase:|| En route|
|Nature:||Passenger - Scheduled|
|Departure airport:||Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport (AMS/EHAM)|
|Destination airport:||Orlando International Airport, FL (MCO)|
|Confidence Rating:|| Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources|
The flight crew, in radio contact with their dispatch center, discussed the situation and agreed that they could continue with the flight. The Boeing Aircraft Company through the Martinair dispatch center supplied technical assistance. A check of the passenger cabin revealed that numerous personal electronic devices (PEDs) were in use. They were requested to be turned off. At one time while over the North Atlantic, there was a period of time when no anomalies occurred. Nearing the North American continent, and with additional anomalies occurring, the flight crew initially planned to divert to Newark (EWR). As the electrical anomalies continued, additional systems were affected, and a decision was made to divert to Boston (BOS). Following the decision to divert, there were failures of the co-pilots electronic attitude director indictors (EADI), and electronic horizontal situation indicators (EHSI). Navigation was lost to the captain's EHSI.
During the initial descent into Boston, the aircraft was flown manually due to autothrottle disengagement and multiple autopilot disengagements. When the airplane was configured with flaps 1 (slat extension, no trailing edge flaps), the two needles on a cockpit gauge which represented the respective wing slat positions disagreed. The flight crew checked the runway required for landing with zero flaps, and the runway available at Boston. With sufficient runway available, the captain in concert with the other crew member decided to make no more configuration changes, resulting in a leading edge slat only approach speed of 162 knots, flap problems had been expected by the crew based on the previous events. The slats were visually inspected to be extended. In the cabin the seatbelts signs switched on and off uncommanded.
During the last portion of flight, the Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System (EICAS) was filled with caution and advisory messages which were read by the second First Officer from the observers seat on request of the captain.
Although no identification could be received from the Instrument Landing System (ILS), the indication on the left Attitude Director Indicator (ADI) and on the standby ADI seemed valid. On final approach to Boston, numerous warning lights illuminated, extinguished, and other warning lights illuminated.
After touch down reverse thrust and autospeedbrakes were not available. Manual braking was anticipated since the autobrake selector did not latch. Braking was done manually by the captain while the wing spoilers were extended by the F/O 1. Just after touch-down the captain initially used full manual braking. The cabin crew's observations were as if they were riding on gravel (pebbles), and the cockpit crew suspected tire failures just after turning off the runway. The last high speed turn off to the left was taken to vacate runway 04R, on which the airplane was brought to a stop. The pilots reported to feel no effect from the manually selected ground spoilers. In the meantime all main landing gear tires were blown or deflated and the airplane was brought to a stop without fully vacating the runway.
A small wheel brake fire developed after landing and was immediately extinguished by the airport fire fighting personnel.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "Numerous electrical anomalies as a result of a loose main battery shunt connection and undetermined electrical system causes."
NTSB id. NYC96IA116
Aviation Week & Space Technology 03.06.96(38)
Aviation Week & Space Technology 10.06.96(29)
Flight International 5-11 June 1996 (p.8)