Immediately after a light gross weight takeoff, engines 2 and 3 spun down and a short time later number 3 engine quit.
Pan Am 747SP was operating JFK–EZE and used FL390 as the final cruising level.
After landing at EZE the inboard tanks had 13.000 pounds of fuel, and no fuel was added at EZE.Substantial ice and frost was visible beneath the inboard wing tanks during the flight engineer’s walk-around inspection.
Take off EZE
Takeoff gross weight was 372.300 pounds for the flight from EZE to MVD.
Before the takeoff attitude reached 15′ nose up, engines 2 and 3 began to spin down. The flight engineer looked at his fuel panel and noticed that tanks 2 and 3 had flickering forward fuel boost pump lights.
The engineer quickly switched on fuel heat. The nose was lowered and thrust was increased on the outboard engines from the reduced thrust setting.
After climbing about another 100 feet , number 2 engine began to spin up and operated normally.
Numer 3 engine flamed out and was shut down and restarted – then operated normally.
After arrival at MVD, fuel tank sumps and fuel filters were inspected and no water or other contamination was found.
Also, start operation and engine condition motors were inspected and no irregularities were found.
The incident is still under investigation.
Source: Crosscheck – July/August 1978