Sunday, 26 March 2017

Aircraft loses entire propeller assembly on approach to Sydney.

On 17th March, a SAAB 340 flying from Albry to Sydney lost the entire starboard propeller assembly.  The aircraft made a safe landing on runway 16R (arrowed red below).

The propeller assembly was not found for several days and was found in bush area. From reports, it looks like it was found in the red circled area.  If this is correct, then it must have been only a minute of so from falling into the suburbs.

The propeller assembly became detached as the crew shut down that engine and feathered the prop. It is reasonable to expect that the shut-down and prop-loss were related. Fortunately, the prop did not strike any of the flight surfaces.

Nine years ago in the USA, a SAAB 340 suffered a similar prop. loss.  This was caused by a manufacturing fault in the ingot used for the prop. shaft where there was sub-surface slag. This lead to a fatigue failure of the shaft.  It will be interesting to see if the same fault is found on the remnants of the shaft and if this shaft came from the same ingot or batch of ingots as the US aircraft.

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