The right landing gear on a twin-turboprop transport aircraft collapsed during landing. Preliminary examination indicated that the failure occurred at a steel-to-aluminum (7014) pinned drag-strut connection due to fracture of the lower set of drag-strut attachment lugs at the lower end of the oleo cylinder housing. Two lug fractures that were determined to be the primary fractures were analyzed. Results of various examinations indicated that stress-corrosion cracking associated with the origins of the principal fractures in the connection was the cause of failure. It was recommended that the design be modified to avoid dissimilar metal combinations of high corrosion potential.
Following the crash of a Mirage III-0 aircraft (apparently caused by engine failure), a small crack was detected in a bolt hole in the wing main spar (AU4SG aluminum alloy). Because this area was considered to be critical to aircraft safety and similar cracking was found in other spars in service, the Royal Australian Air Force requested that the crack growth rate during service be determined. The loading history of the aircraft was made available in the form of flight by-flight records of the counts from the vertical accelerometer sensors fitted to the airframe and a series of “overstress” events recorded during the life of the aircraft. The bolt hole was examined by eddy current testing, visual examination, high-powered light microscope, and scanning electron microscope. Simulation tests were also conducted. The use of simulation specimens permitted actual crack growth rate data to be determined for the configuration of interest.