NTSB Identification: CHI06IA011.
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Scheduled 14 CFR operation of PSA Airlines, Inc. (D.B.A. US Airways Express)
Incident occurred Monday, October 17, 2005 in West Grove, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Bombardier, Inc. CL-600-2B19, registration: N244PS
Injuries: 51 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
The left engine exhaust nozzle and fairing departed the airplane during cruise climb. The flight crew reported hearing a "small thud" while climbing through 15,000 feet msl. The flight crew stated that they monitored the aircraft engines and no anomalies were noted. The flight crew attributed the event to possible wake turbulence and elected to continue to their scheduled destination. During a post-flight inspection the flight crew noticed the left engine exhaust nozzle and fairing were missing. The left engine exhaust nozzle was found about 26.5 nm west-southwest of the departure airport. The nozzle was examined and its attachment hardware was missing. The bolt holes used to install the exhaust nozzle to the engine were elongated and had evidence of fretting. The exhaust nozzle manufacturer issued Service Bulletin CF34-NAC-78-024 on January 24, 2003, to address "exhaust nozzle bolt attachment failures." The service bulletin called for the removal of the existing hardware and replacement with "new, improved hardware." This maintenance was to be completed at the "operator's earliest convenience or within a maximum of 4,000 hours." At the time of the incident, the airplane had accumulated 3,440 hours since new. The service bulletin had not been complied with, according to the maintenance records. The operator immediately inspected their entire fleet of Bombardier CL-600-2B19 regional jets and found three additional aircraft with either missing or loose attachment exhaust nozzle hardware. The operator ordered replacement kits for the entire fleet and will comply with Service Bulletin CF34-NAC-78-024 upon delivery of the replacement parts.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: The separation of the left engine exhaust nozzle during cruise climb due to inadequately designed attachment hardware.
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