New Reno Incident report and press release

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by model299, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. model299

    model299 Member

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    Deteriorated Parts Allowed Flutter Which Led to Fatal Crash at 2011 Reno Air Races

    The National Transportation Safety Board determined today that deteriorated locknut inserts found in the highly modified North American P-51D airplane that crashed during the 2011 National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, allowed the trim tab attachment screws to become loose, and even initiated fatigue cracking in one screw. This condition, which resulted in reduced stiffness in the elevator trim system, ultimately led to aerodynamic flutter at racing speed that broke the trim tab linkages, resulting in a loss of controllability and the eventual crash.

    Press Release August 27, 2012
     
  2. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    A two bit part.
    Wouldn't ya know.
     
  3. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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  4. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Hmm, I do remember seeing a photo of the airplane in one of the turns with distressed skin too, that looked like something inside the fuselage was either distorted, or giving out. The vibration can certainly cause that, so I trust the experts on it. Sad to think something so small could cause such a catastrophe. Goes to show that you can never be too careful when dealing with any high performance machine.
     
  5. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Whats the saying.."For want of a nail, the war was lost."
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Yes, "Don't spoil the ship for a hapeth of tar"
    But there were clearly other issues relating to unreported and untested modifications. Very sad.

    Steve
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    #7 FLYBOYJ, Aug 28, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
    "Contributing to the accident were the undocumented and untested major modifications made to the airplane, as well as the pilot's operation of the airplane in the unique air racing environment without adequate flight testing.

    The nearly 70-year-old airplane had undergone numerous undocumented modifications. The modifications, designed to increase speed, included shortening of the wings, installation of a boil-off cooling system for the engine, increasing the elevator counterweights, modification of the pitch trim system, and changing the incidence of the horizontal and vertical stabilizers.

    Although the Federal Aviation Administration required that a flight standards district office be notified in writing of any major changes made to The Galloping Ghost before it could be flown, investigators could find no records that such notifications were made except for the installation of the boil-off cooling system. The undocumented major modifications were identified through wreckage examinations, photographic evidence, and interviews with ground crewmembers."


    Over the years the FAA had changed rules and policy on what was required to be reported to them with regards to "Experimental Exhibition" aircraft. I was involved on a repair to a T-33 where several skins on the belly were replaced. I had two different FAA PMIs give me two different directions on how the repair should be documented, one guy even said that "FSDO approval was not required, just make a log book entry." On the other side of the coin there are many pilots and mechanics who believe that just because these aircraft are "Experimental" they could do whatever they want to them.
     
  8. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like there are many shades of gray depending on which official you talk to concerning modifications FlyboyJ. I would guess you really have to have a excellent knowledge of all rules and regulations to cover your own arse!!
     
  9. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Yep - you have to know the FARs better than the FAA!
     
  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Depending on the FSDO, that's probably not a hard thing to do, Joe.
     
  11. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    We've got the same issues down here in NZ, regarding exactly what needs to be notified, or approved by the CAA. You've got to wonder, though, if anything would have changed if they had notified the FAA. Notification isn't approval. Some things it seems are universal, unfortunately.
    But it is good to see that it looks like there weren't any silly knee-jerk recommendations from the NTSB and FAA.
     
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