Condor B763 at Cape Town on Nov 17th 2013, dropped spring from left main gear
Last Update: October 2, 2014 / 16:12:52 GMT/Zulu time
Germany's BFU reported in their November bulletin released in February 2014, that South Africa's investigation commission is investigating the occurrence rated a serious incident.
The return flight DE-6229 was cancelled.
On Oct 2nd 2014 South Africa's Civil Aviation Authority released their final report concluding the probable cause of the incident was:
Sheared left main landing gear drag brace jury strut spring
Metal fatigue failure of drag brace jury strut spring.
South Africa's Accident and Incident Investigation Division (SAAIID) reported that the aircraft completed what appeared to be a normal and uneventful flight with a safe landing in Cape Town. The owner of a property about 14km (7.5nm) from the airport, a commercial pilot, heard a loud sound, discovered a spring in his garden and assumed the spring originated from the aircraft flying overhead his garden contacting the airport and airport operator, who in turn informed SAAIID.
The SAAID wrote: "An investigation into the matter determined that the aircraft landing gear was extended on the approach flight path in preparation for the landing, and it is assumed this was the time the spring broke off from its attachment point, fell straight down to the ground and embedded itself in the garden soil of the house in the Welgelegen suburb of Cape Town." and stated later: "Cape Town ATC checked the list of incoming flights for the time specified by the home owner, and aircraft D-ABUK was earmarked as the aircraft possibly affected. Upon inspection it was found that the springs on the right main landing gear were still in place. One spring was, however, missing from the left main landing gear."
The SAAID reported in their final report Welgelegen surbub is directly underneath the approach path to runway 01 (indicating south of the aerodrome), however, Welgelegen surbub is located north of the aerodrome and thus underneath the approach path of runway 19 (also documented by SAAIID's map showing the spring was recovered north of the aerodrome).
The SAAIID quoted laboratory analysis: "The investigation results point towards a fatigue mode of fracture that originated from the surface of the Left Hand Main Landing Gear drag brace jury strut spring and propagated to an approximate 30% of the total diameter before final fracture occurred during operation. Taking into account that fatigue factures propagate over time, it is clear that the fracture initiated an undeterminable period of operational time prior to final fracture. The presence of noted surface stress-raisers on the spring are severely detrimental to the fatigue resistance of the component under operational conditions and are in this case considered as the most probable cause for the initiation of the fracture. The origin of and/or cause for the surface indentations is not known but may have been introduced during fitment / removal of the drag brace jury strut spring."
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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