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Running head: ASSIGNMENT 5.2: WHICH CAME FIRST?1Assignment 5.2: Which Came First?Miguel Andrew F. SantosEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical University
ASSIGNMENT 5.2: WHICH CAME FIRST?2Assignment 5.2: Which Came First?In the unfortunate event of the accident involving an Embraer (EMB) aircraft, specifically, the EMB-120RT model operated as Flight 529 by Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA), this mishap had demonstrated significant lapses in corporate inspection and repair techniques, maintenance repair, training, documentation, and communications. But as Director ofQuality within No-Name airlines, to ensure that the EMB-120RT fleet does not suffer from a similar accident, this paper will thoroughly analyze the ASA Flight 529 accident and, in turn, elaborate on certain risk mitigation strategies that will reinforce the Continuing Analysis and Surveillance System program for this air carrier. Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 529 AccidentBriefly summarizing this accident, in 1995, an EMB-120RT aircraft operating a scheduled flight from Atlanta, Georgia to Gulfport, Mississippi, experienced a sudden in-flight engine failure because of an occurred separation of the propeller blade at the left engine of the aircraft (National Transport Safety Board [NTSB], 1996). Consequently, the loss of the propeller blade caused damage to the left engine nacelle, reducing directional control of the airplane due towing lift loss. This then resulted in the aircraft to crash land near Carrolton, Georgia. Probable CauseDetermining that the loss of propeller eventually led to a crash, the NTSB concluded that the in-flight separation of the propeller was attributed to a critical fatigue fracture, stemming from multiple corrosion pits on the surface of the blade (NTSB, 1996). In other words, the incidence of pitting corrosion came first and initiated subsequent fatigue cracking on the engine component. This indicates major issues for the No-Name Airlines EMB-120RT fleet because pitting corrosion is one of the most dangerous yet insidious forms of corrosion due to its
ASSIGNMENT 5.2: WHICH CAME FIRST?3difficulty in predicting its appearance and the high probability to cause equipment failure with only a small percentage of corrosion (Siddiqui, 2015). And in the ASA Flight 529 accident this was exactly shown, as after conducting Scanning Electron Microscope examinations, it was discovered that the several corrosion pits in the taper bore surface of the blade spar only extended over a distance of about 0.070 inches, with maximum depths of about 0.006 inch belowthe taper bore surface (NTSB, 1996).Contributing FactorsBesides the probable cause, the NTSB also determined that there were significant contributory factors exhibited by the manufacturing, maintenance, and inspection departments when producing and examining the Hamilton Standard 14RF-9 propeller blade installed in the EMB-120RT aircraft.