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Abstract

An aircraft went down over water some 30 minutes into a flight. The wreckage was retrieved and the elevator linkage components were dismantled, cleaned, and reassembled. As the chapter explains, both the port and starboard hinge pins had fractured at a tack welded joint along a flange. Based on visual examination, SEM fractography, and chemical analysis, investigators concluded that the hinge pins were not made from the specified steel and were not properly treated after cadmium plating. The pins failed due to hydrogen embrittlement, which may have been aggravated by welding. The chapter provides several recommendations to avoid such failures in the future.

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Failure of Elevator Hinge Pins in an Aircraft, Failure Analysis of Engineering Structures: Methodology and Case Histories, By V. Ramachandran, A.C. Raghuram, R.V. Krishnan, S.K. Bhaumik, ASM International, 2005, p 113–114, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.tb.faesmch.t51270113

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