Incident: Vietnam A321 at Ho Chi Minh City on Mar 18th 2020, rejected takeoff due to uncontained engine failure sets grass alight

A Vietnam Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration VN-A392 performing flight VN-920 from Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) to Phnom Penh (Cambodia), was accelerating for takeoff from Ho Chi Minh City’s runway 25L when the crew rejected takeoff at high speed due to a burst nose tyre. The aircraft came to a stop about 1600 meters/5250 feet down the runway. Emergency services responded, not only because of the rejected takeoff but also because of a large smoke plume rising from the grass at the right side of the runway. Emergency services put the grass fire out within about 10 minutes. The passengers disembarked onto the runway via mobile stairs and were taken to the terminal, the aircraft was subsequently towed to the apron.

The airline reported there was a technical issue with one of the nose wheel tyres, there was no fire or explosion on the aircraft. The crew rejected takeoff and stopped safely. There were no injuries.

Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority reported a part of the tyre impacted and damaged the side of the right hand engine’s (V2533) cover, which in turn caused the grass fire. The CAA have opened an investigation into the occurrence.

On Mar 22nd 2020 (Mar 21st 2020 US East Coast Time) the FAA released an emergency airworthiness directive EAD-2020-07-51 for all International Aero Engines AG (IAE) V2522-A5, V2524-A5, V2525-D5, V2527-A5, V2527E-A5, V2527M-A5, V2528-D5, V2530-A5, and V2533-A5 model turbofan engines.

The FAA argues: “This emergency AD was prompted by investigative findings from an event that occurred on March 18, 2020, in which an Airbus Model A321-231 airplane, powered by IAE V2533-A5 model turbofan engines, experienced an uncontained high-pressure turbine (HPT) 1st-stage disk failure that resulted in an aborted takeoff. This condition, if not addressed, could result in release of high-energy debris, damage to the engine, damage to the airplane, and loss of the airplane.”

Operators of such engines are required to determined whether a HPT first stage disk of specific serial numbers are installed and if so, remove those HPT stage 1 disks from the engine within 5 cycles.

Emergency services extinguish the grass fire, occurrence aircraft stopped in the background:


The right hand engine seen after the aircraft stopped on the runway: