NTSB Identification: LAX98LA129.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, March 24, 1998 in BUCKEYE, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Ayres S2RT-34RE, registration: N4010X
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

An Ayres S2R airplane lost power and crashed following a landing attempt to a field. The subsequent disassembly of the engine revealed that the compressor turbine disk was intact, but that all of the CT blades were fractured across the airfoils adjacent to the blade root platform. The Canadian Transportation Safety Board's engineering branch found that there were 55 blades of one part number and 3 blades of another part number which were not authorized for use in a PT6A-34AG engine. The three unapproved blades had a different heat code than was approved for this engine. One of the unapproved blades revealed a fatigue fracture on the surface as seen by the scanning electron microscope. The blades were manufactured by Doncaster, under a FAA Parts Manufacturing Approval as an alternate part for PWC CT blades. They were then packaged and shipped to Superior Air Parts. Superior Air parts would repackage the blades in Superior Air parts packaging prior to reshipping the blades. Doncaster's stated that Superior was the sole distributor of the Doncaster blades. Both the quality control standards at Superior Air Parts and Air Force Turbine Services did not notice the three incorrect CT blades, which were shipped from Superior Air Parts and subsequently, installed on the engine. Additionally, when the engine underwent repair work and these blades were installed, the new CT blades were installed and the radial tip clearance between the blades and segments was 0.0025 inches less than the minimum required by the PT6 engine manual.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The incorrect turbine blades installed on the engine, the fractured compressor turbine blades and separation of the blade, and the improper maintenance installation of the incorrect CT blades by the repair station. A factor in the accident was the inadequate quality control procedures by both the shipper of the CT blades and the maintenance facility which installed the blades.

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