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Abstract

An aircraft crashed following the loss of yaw control in full airborne flight. The subsequent discovery of broken shutter bolts in the rear pitch reaction control valve led to an inspection campaign that found bolt failures of a similar nature in valves on several other aircraft. The bolts were removed and analyzed to determine the mode and cause of failure. Based on the results of macroscopy, scanning electron fractography, metallographic examination, and chemical analysis, the failures were caused by stress corrosion cracking, and in one case, overtightening.

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Failure of Shutter Bolts in a Reaction Control Valve 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 130–132, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.tb.faesmch.t51270130

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