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Aircraft Accident - Case Study Example

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On the afternoon of July 19, 2009 the United flight 232 was destined for Chicago from Denver. It was being piloted by Captain Al Haynes along with ten of his colleagues and 285 passengers. After crossing into Iowa, a loud bang was heard from the rear of the aircraft, indicating engine failure…
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Aircraft Accident
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Download file to see previous pages Finally the crew succeeded in emergency landing at Sioux City, but unfortunately the starboard wingtip touched down just prior to the landing gear, pulling the aircraft sideways. And the aircraft broke up and turned into a huge fireball. Out of 296 people onboard, 111 died and 185 survived.
Problem Statement: The aircraft became uncontrollable mainly because of the fracture of the fan disk. Besides the human failure of the maintenance team in detecting such a serious crack, there are quite a few pertinent issues related mainly to the design of engine fan rotor assembly and the hydraulic flight control system. In addition, after the crash-landing, the rescue team and the fire-fighting team committed some mistakes, which might have resulted in loss of some more lives. The key issues here are;
Approach and Analysis: Investigating this disaster was lot easier because all the four cockpit crew members, who were handing the machinery to somehow make a safe landing, were alive to tell the story. The disaster was investigated by;
Results: Oversight and a casual approach often results in serious consequences is proved once again by the investigating team in this case as well. Though manufacturing defect is the major cause but the involvement of human beings during the processes of certification and maintenance could not help in detecting and prevention. Investigators found out that;
It was routinely undergoing through ...
The pieces of engine fan disk too were found out in the fields
The survivors account also proved quite useful for the investigating team
Results: Oversight and a casual approach often results in serious consequences is proved once again by the investigating team in this case as well. Though manufacturing defect is the major cause but the involvement of human beings during the processes of certification and maintenance could not help in detecting and prevention. Investigators found out that;
Two large fractures in the fan disks, said to be the signs of overstress
The fatigue had also resulted in a small cavity on the surface of the disk, said to be the result of a manufacturing defect.
It was routinely undergoing through the drills of maintenance and in fact passed through the crack detecting fluorescent penetration inspections, but the cracks could not be detected, pointing towards human blunder.
Discussion: The process of certification proves to be very crucial for the manufacturer, the customer as well as other stakeholders. Values and ethics must be imbibed in the work culture of the certification team, so that they do not take things for granted. As the safety and security standards keep on changing, it is of vital importance that the manufacturing unit must be able to upgrade their certification standards on a regular basis. The department entrusted with the task of certification has to be trained accordingly.
Training and development of the maintenance engineers is of vital importance, because they are the ones who are in a position of detecting manufacturing defects and avert major disasters. More important than the training is to work as a team, because at times, some defects could be found by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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