A helicopter rapidly lost altitude and struck a tree, causing a fire and severe damage. The hose clamp which was the subject of this investigation was one of two used on a short length of hose between the turbocharger and the carburetion system. The purpose of this examination was to determine whether the hose failed during or before the accident. Fracture in the failed clamp was accompanied by obvious permanent deformation and evidence of local shearing at the ends of the perforation where fracture occurred, and in the adjacent perforation. The first test involved tightening the clamps to failure with a torque wrench. In no case did the band material fracture. In a second attempt to duplicate the failure, a tensile testing machine was used to pull the two fittings apart while the hose was clamped in place. When the testing machine was operated at maximum head travel (approximately 20 in. per min.), one of the hose clamps broke in the same manner as the clamp in question. The manner of failure during the tension test indicated this clamp failed at the time of the crash because of a sudden separation between the turbocharger and the remainder of the aircraft.
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