Aircraft Accident Investigation


Authors: Jaganathan C, Capt S K Jain

ISBN: 9789380381435

Copy Right Year: 2014

Pages:  310

Binding: Hard Cover

Publisher:  Yes Dee Publishing

SKU: 9789380381435 Category:


Aircraft Accident Investigation is a specialized process requiring vast experience and expertise gained through attending various investigations in resolving probable cause of aircraft accidents. Addressing effectively the above requirement, this book develops a stepwise systematic approach to successfully and meaningfully deal with the process of investigation of aircraft accidents. The book aims at identifying the primary reason of failure and suggests remedial measures to thwart recurrence of similar accidents in future. The basics of aero-engine and its systems, various types of failure of engine components and subsystems, analysis of flight data recorder, etc. have been clearly dealt with. The aim of the book is to instil confidence in neophytes entering into the field of aircraft accident investigation and to sharpen the skills of professionals in the field. One key feature of the book is that instead of fabricated hypothetical cases, only actual cases have been taken up for the discussion of the investigative procedure and its analysis for the probable cause of accident.

Additional information

Weight .55 kg
Dimensions 23 × 16 × 2 cm

Table of Content

Foreword by A.S. Karnik
Foreword by K. Tamilmani
Foreword by T. Mohana Rao
List of Abbreviations
List of Figures
Chapter 1 What is an Accident?
1.1 What is an Accident?
1.2  What is an Incident?
1.3 Material Evidence–Flight Data Recorder
1.4  Material Evidence–Cockpit Voice Recorder
1.5 Categorisation of Aircraft Accidents
Chapter 2 Purpose of Inquiry
2.1 Purpose of an Inquiry
2.2 Essentialities of an Inquiry
2.3 Lateral Findings
2.4 Metallurgical Conformance
2.5  Shadow Boxing
2.6 Eleven Commandments
2.7 Types of Flaws
2.7.1 Defects in Ingot
2.7.2 Defects in Casting
2.7.3  Defects in Forging
2.7.4  Defects During Heat Treatment
2.7.5  Defects on Welding
2.7.6  Defects During Machining
2.7.7  Defects During Assembly
2.7.8  Defects During Engine Testing
2.7.9  Service Errors–Maintenance
2.7.10 Service Errors–Flying
2.7.11 Batch and Non-Batch Flaws
2.7.12 Essentialities of an Investigator
Chapter 3 Pre-Requisites after an Aircraft Accident
3.1  Pre-Requisites after an Aircraft Accident
3.2 Preliminary Work by the Chief of the Unit
3.3 Preparatory Work of Propulsion Specialist
3.4 Preliminary Actions by The President,
Court of Inquiry
3.5 Earth Surfaces and its Effects
3.6 Evidence from Pilot, Crew Members and
Other Occupants of Ill-Fated Aircraft
3.7 Evidence from Public Eye Witnesses
3.8 Effect of Auto Pilot “Off” Condition
3.9 Further Actions by the Court
3.10 Types of Wreckage Damages
3.11 Lead Role by the Engine Specialist
3.12 Foundation by the Investigating Team
Chapter 4 Strip Examination of Engine
4.1  Introduction
4.2 Identification of Agency for Strip Examination
4.3 Packing of Engine
4.4 Materials to be Collected
During Strip Examination
4.5  Metallurgical Investigation
Chapter 5 Failures
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Fatigue
5.2.1  Crack Initiation
5.2.2  Metallurgical Promoters
5.2.3  Effect of Temperature
5.2.4  Elevated Temperature Fatigue
5.2.5  Thermal Fatigue
5.3 Crack Propagation
5.4 Final Failure
5.5 Ductile and Brittle Failures
5.6 Failure Modes of Critical Components of
Gas Turbine Engine
5.6.1  Failure Mode of Compressor Rotor and Stator Blades
5.6.2 Failure Mode of Compressor Disc
5.6.3 Failure Mode of Compressor Casings
5.6.4  Failure Mode of Shaft
5.6.5  Hot End Components and its Failure Modes
5.6.6  Failure Mode of Gears
5.6.7  Failure Mode of Bearings
5.6.8  Fretting Failure of Other Components of Engine
5.6.9  Pin, Riveted and Bolted Joints of Engine Components
Chapter 6 Gas Turbine Engine
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Family of Gas Turbine Engines
6.2.1 Inlet
6.2.2 Fan or Low-Pressure Compressor
6.2.3 High-Pressure Compressor
6.2.4 Combustion Chamber
6.2.5 Turbine
6.2.6 Afterburner
6.2.7 Exhaust Nozzle
6.2.8 Various Systems and its Operation
6.3 Performance of Twin Spool Engines
Chapter 7 Surge and Stall of Compressors
7.1  Introduction
7.2  Basics of Surge and Stall
7.3 Bird Hit
7.4 Summary of Evidences
7.5  Conclusion
Chapter 8 Foreign Object Damages (FOD) and Internal
Object Damages (IOD)
8.1  Introduction
8.2 Type of FOD and IOD
8.3  Signatures of FOD and IOD
8.4  Detection Methodologies of Sprays
8.5 Difficulties During Dismantling of Engine
8.6  Thermal Shock Distress
Chapter 9 In-Flight Failures of
Components and its Signatures
9.1  Introduction
9.2  Failure of Compressor Components
9.2.1  Thud Sound
9.2.2  Rumbling or Popping Noise
9.2.3  Deposits or Sprays
9.2.4  Unwinding of Rotors
9.2.5 JPT Increase
9.2.6 Location of IO/FO
9.2.7  Nose Cone Damages
9.2.8  Fan or Low-Pressure Compressor Rotor Blades
9.2.9  Variation in Vibration Levels
9.2.10  Deposits in Pipelines
9.2.11  In-Flight Fire
9.2.12  Deposit from Abradable Coating
9.2.13  Causes of Failure of Compressor Rotor Blades
9.2.14  Blades Fabricated out of Titanium Base Material
9.2.15  Stator Blades of Fan or Compressor
9.2.16 Failure of Compressor or Fan Disc
9.3 Failure of Combustion Chamber and its Components
9.3.1  Puncturing or Melting of Flame Tube and
Combustion Chamber Outer Casing
9.3.2  Dislodgement of Swirler
9.3.3 Crack Formation on Flame Tube Sections
9.3.4 Failure on Welded or Brazed Sections
9.3.5  Improper Assembly of Flame Tube in
Combustion Chamber Outer Casing
9.4  Turbine Unit and its Failures
9.4.1 Failure of Turbine Rotor Blades
9.4.2 Turbine Disc Failure
9.5 Afterburner Unit and its Failures
9.6 Exhaust Nozzle and its Failures
9.7 Gear Box and its Failures
9.7.1 Failure of Bevel Gears
9.7.2  Failure of Main Quill Shaft
9.7.3  Failure of Other Gears
9.8 Miscellaneous Failures
Chapter 10 Systems and its Failures
10.1  Introduction
10.2  Main Fuel System
10.3  Afterburner Fuel System
10.3.1 Repeated or Successive Afterburner Engagements
10.3.2  Flight Mach Number Less than Requirement for
Positive Afterburner Engagement
10.3.3  Transition Ratings from Maximum Dry to
Maximum Afterburner and Vice Versa
10.4  Lubrication System
10.5 Hydraulic System
10.6 Electrical and Electronic System
10.6.1  Failure of Quill Shaft or
Failure of Splines or Failure of Gear
10.6.2  FOD or IOD in the Generators
10.6.3  Failure of Electronics Digital Controller
Chapter 11 Flight Data Recorder
11.1 Features of FDR
11.2  Recording of Parameters
11.3 Engine Parameters
11.4  Analysis of Few Events
11.4.1 Engine Ground Run
11.4.2  Take Off of the Aircraft
11.4.3  Cruise of the Aircraft
11.4.4  Landing of the Aircraft
11.4.5  Left or Right Turn by the Aircraft
11.4.6  Vertical Loop
11.4.7  Spin of the Aircraft
11.5  Some Critical Failures During Flight and its Recordings
11.5.1  Gear Failure
11.5.2  Rotor Blade Failure
11.5.3  Bird Hit
11.5.4  Exhaust Nozzle Malfunction
11.5.5  Malfunction of Afterburner
11.5.6  External Stores Firing (Armament Delivery)
11.5.7  Failure of Main Quill Shaft Transmitting Drive
to the Accessories
11.5.8  Failure of Quill Shaft Transmitting Drive
to the Main Fuel Pump of the Engine
11.5.9  Failure of Quill Shaft Transmitting Drive
to the Oil System
11.5.10  Failure of Hydraulic Pump
Chapter 12 Few Case Studies
12.1 Introduction
12.2 CASE I
12.3 CASE II
12.5 CASE IV
12.6 CASE V
12.7 CASE VI
12.10 CASE IX
12.11 CASE X
Chapter 13 Conclusion

About The Authors

Mr C Jaganathan obtained his graduation in Mathematics from University of Madras, followed by a graduation in Aeronautical Engineering from Madras Institute of Technology. He obtained his Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Initially he worked for four years as Scientist ‘B’ at DRDL, Hyderabad. Subsequently, he was posted to RCMA at Koraput and Bangalore, and served for 25 years as airworthiness engineer ensuring certification requirements of both Russian and Western power plants built at the engine division at HAL, Koraput and Bangalore. Presently, he is Additional Director, Gas Turbine Research Establishment, Bangalore, looking after the assembly and testing of engines, engine subsystems like main and afterburner fuel system, variable guide vane mechanisms, exhaust nozzle control systems and certification of ab initio power plants, and the like. As of now he has retired from DRDO service.


Gp Capt S K Jain is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from SGSITS, Indore, and holds a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai. He specialises in the field of aerospace propulsion and has vast experience in the repair and overhaul of engines, and has been instrumental in the indigenous development of many repair and reclamation technologies. While at the Gas Turbine Research Establishment, Bangalore, he overviewed the progress of the Kaveri Project and was involved in the design and development of military aero engine for Light Combat Aircraft. He is presently commanding a Base Repair Depot of IAF involved in the repair and overhaul of aero engines powering military aircraft.


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