Reciprocating Engine Aircraft Accidents Due Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The pilot then asked for emergency vehicles to meet them on runway 36 as a precaution. No total emergency was declared. The flight was able to land safely on runway 36 and the pilot was able to complete a normal shutdown. Then the rudder cable was sent to the NTSB materials laboratory and they found that the wire rope portion of the cable was fractured inside the clevis fitting as the forward end of the cable. The strands of the wire rope had separated from each other by a distance of more than one foot from the cable end. At the same time, the separation between strands of the same cable were not so high and even when they were separated, the distance was much less. Then the broken ends were seen through a bench binocular microscope and that showed the wire fractures were aligned with each other and within a distance of 0.02-inch and within a distance of 0.05-inch from the end of clevis fitting. (Aircraft: Cessna 180A)

Almost all of the fractures were on a flat transverse plane and there was no great deformation in a necking form which comes when these crack due to fatigue of the whole wire rope. Some of the wires were broken on a slant plane and they had the necking down deformation to indicate that they had broken down due to high stress. Some of the wires also had fracture shapes that showed a mixture of fatigue and overstress. This required them to be examined more as also the clevis fitting and this showed that the forward ends of the clevis point were all joined together. The space between the points were then measured with calipers and found to be 0.18-inch near the joining point and 0.13 inches from the tip. Then the entire lot was examined visually and the inside portions of the points of the clevis showed that there was some rust colored material there and this happens due to fretting or rubbing damage, near the tips of the points.

The outside surface of the clevis fitting also had marks from the contact that it had made with the bottom of the attachment bolt head and from the washer which is placed under the head of the nut. These marks were seen on forward and back sides of the attachment bolt hole, and less on the upper and lower sides of the hole. According to this finding, Cessna is adding a spacer to its production process. This spacer will be placed between the rudder cable clevis and the end of the rod. The newly made change will also be shown in the Cessna Illustrated Parts Catalog. (Aircraft: Cessna 180A) It is clear that this is a change that is being made and thought to be important enough for being put in parts catalogs, but this has nothing to do with the engine. After reciprocating engines have been around for a long time, and most of their defects have probably been rectified. This is the only parts problem mentioned in the site of Cessna.


The pilot of the aircraft in question is finally responsible for ensuring that the aircraft is safe before each flight, and the checking procedure depends on the complexities of the aircraft and the capabilities of the pilot in question. What may be enough in a single engine, fixed gear aircraft would not be enough for a complex single or twin. What is enough for a reciprocating twin will not be enough for a turbine powered aircraft. (One of the most interesting challenges in aviation for any pilot is transitioning to a new type aircraft. Normally, the pilot's first question is, 'How do I start?) In the world of today pilots keep moving from aircraft to aircraft and thus they have to keep learning to be safe.


Aircraft Accident Report" Retrieved at Accessed on 1 August, 2005

Aircraft: Cessna 180A" Retrieved at Accessed on 1 August, 2005

Airplanes and Engines" Retrieved from Accessed on 1 August, 2005

One of the most interesting challenges in aviation for any pilot is transitioning to a new type aircraft. Normally, the pilot's first question is, 'How do I start?'" Retrieved at Accessed on 1 August, 2005

Tucker, Tim. "Engines: Turbine Reliability: Fact or Friction?" Retrieved at Accessed on 1 August, 2005.

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