Engine Accessory Angle Drive Gear Failure
The failure of an ATAR engine accessory angle drive gear assembly caused an engine flame-out in a Mirage III aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during a landing. Stripping of the engine revealed that the bevel gear locating splines (16 NCD 13) had failed. Visual and low-power microscope examination of the spline of the shaft showed evidence of fretting wear debris; similar wear was observed on the splines of the mating bevel gear. It was concluded that the splines had failed by severe fretting wear. Fretting damage was also observed on the shaft face adjacent to the splines and on the bevel gear abutment shoulder. Additional tests included a metrological inspection of the shaft, bevel gear and support ring; metallographic examination of a section from the shaft; chemical analysis of the shaft material (16 NCD 13); and hardness testing of a sample of the yoke material. The wear had been caused by incorrect machining of the shaft splines, which prevented the bevel gear nut from locating correctly against the gear.