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A helicopter tail rotor blade spar failed in fatigue, allowing the outer section of the blade to separate in flight. The 7075-T7351 aluminum alloy blade had fiberglass pockets. The blade spar was a hollow “D” shape, and corrosion pits were present on the inner surface of the hollow spar A single corrosion pit, 0.38 mm (0.015 in.) deep, led to a fatigue failure of the spar The failure initiated on the pylon side of the blade. Dimensional analysis of the spar near the failure revealed measurements within engineering drawing tolerances. Though corrosion pitting was present, there was an absence...

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