Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NTSB Says Plane Crashed After Wing Fell Off

Ya think?

I know, it was a tragic loss of life. And it highlights the issue of an aging commercial fleet - seaplanes really take a pounding, and this airframe had been in service nearly six decades. There might also be an issue with the fact that the airplane was re-engined - the original radial engines were replaced with turboprops. Since the turboprop is lighter, it had to be placed further forward to maintain the aircraft's balance. That increases the twisting load on the main spar. I'm sure the engineers worked that through, but fatigue cracks are still poorly understood.

Still, that was a really dumb headline.

1 comment:

Laura said...

I've always wondered if there's some kind of correlation between planes missing one or more wings and plane crashes. :-)

You're right....a headline straight out of the Journal of Duh.