Discussion 6.2.docx - In the accident of United Airlines(UA...

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In the accident of United Airlines (UA) Flight 232, the involved DC-10 suffered an uncontained engine failure at the No. 2 engine, which was caused by a fan disk burst that resulted in engine debris damaging the aircraft's three hydraulic systems that were located in the tail section of the aircraft (National Transport Safety Board [NTSB], 1990). Therefore, as this accident caused a major tragedy, using the risk assessment format in Chapter 11 pages 141-142 of the textbook, there were several hazards: Hydraulic System Hazard Risk, Item 1 : Loss of hydraulic power . At the time of the accident, the purpose of the hydraulic system was to power the aircraft’s flight control surfaces such as the ailerons, elevators, flaps, and rudders (Nature TV, 2019). But as with any system, there is a potential for failure, hence this hazard mode is described as the loss of hydraulic power causing uncontrollable primary flight control surfaces. And in the case of UA Flight 232, as no physical isolation was made for the three independent hydraulic systems, fan hub fragments from an uncontained engine failure instigated the loss of hydraulic fluid. Ultimately, this was disastrous, as hydraulic system failures disrupt the flight control system, making the aircraft extremely difficult to maneuver, thus leading to an accident (Federal Aviation Administration [FAA], n.d.). Risk Assessment, Item 1 : This hazard is classified as catastrophic because an aircraft accident that would cause the loss of human life and equipment is a possible result of hydraulic system failure. Additionally, the probability of the hazard is remote because the airplane had a redundancy where three separate hydraulic systems were installed, thus the events of a complete hydraulic failure had odds of a billion to one (Nature TV, 2019). But this hazard still may possibly occur, as due to the space constraints in the DC- 10’s No. 2 engine, the three independent hydraulic systems were in close proximity to each other and were made vulnerable to zonal hazards (Nature TV, 2019). Therefore, if a serious engine malfunction were to occur, such as an uncontained engine failure, released debris could damage the entire hydraulic system, which was one of the main factors of the UA Flight 232 accident (NTSB, 1990). Control Approach, Item 1 : Redesign the hydraulic systems, through zonal hazard examinations, and incorporate a hydraulic shutoff valve, where if the hydraulic fluid levels dropped lower than the norm, the valve would close and preserve adequate pressure in one system so that the flight crew would have minimal yet precise control to better manage the emergencies (NTSB, 1990). In turn, protection for the closed hydraulic systems would be improved. Moreover, employ system safety reviews to produce a redundancy for the flight control systems in case hydraulic power is completely lost. This means to research and implement backup systems or another motive power source for protecting the flight control systems and engine controls (NTSB, 1990). One example would be utilizing electronically powered flight control systems so that the flight control surfaces do not rely solely on hydraulic systems.

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