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A failure analysis investigation was conducted on a fractured aluminum tailwheel fork which failed moments after the landing of a privately owned, 1955 twin-engine airplane. Nondestructive evaluation via dye-penetrant inspection revealed no discernible surface cracks. The chemical composition of the sand-cast component was identified via optical emission spectroscopy and is comparable to an aluminum sand-cast alloy, AA 712.0. Metallographic evaluation via optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy revealed a high degree of porosity in the microstructure as well as the presence of deleterious intermetallic compounds within interdendritic regions. Macrohardness testing produced hardness values which are noticeably higher than standard...

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