NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


NTSB RELEASES PHOTOS OF FATIGUE CRACKS FROM MONDAY'S CHALK'S OCEAN AIRWAYS CRASH IN MIAMI

December 22, 2005

The National Transportation Safety Board has released photos depicting fatigue cracks found on the separated wing of the Chalk's Ocean Airways plane that crashed into the water near Miami Beach on Monday.

On Tuesday afternoon, the right wing of the aircraft was recovered. The wing had separated at the inboard section, at the wing/fuselage juncture. Safety Board engineers and metallurgists agree that the signatures are consistent with fatigue fractures. Portions of the wing are at the NTSB metallurgy laboratory in Washington, DC.

As part of the investigation of this accident, which claimed 20 lives, the Safety Board will extensively examine the wing and other structures in the coming days. The probable cause of this accident has not been determined.

Photos of the fatigue fractures are included in the online version of this advisory, available from the Board's website at http://www.ntsb.gov.

 

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Overall view of the inboard end of the right wing as it was recovered from the water. An unlabeled arrow indicates the lower spar cap of the rear spar where fatigue features were observed.
 

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(JPG, 53 KB)
Closer view of the fracture surface at the inboard end of the lower spar cap of the right wing rear spar. Unlabeled arrows indicate the location of two offset drilled holes.
 

Click image to view larger version
(JPG, 39 KB)
Closer view of the fatigue region in the horizontal leg of the lower spar cap of the rear spar. Unlabeled brackets indicate fatigue origin areas at the surfaces of the fastener hole, and dashed lines indicate the extent of the fatigue region visible on the fracture surface.
 
Download all three images in high resolution (PDF, 1.04 MB - requires Adobe Reader)

NTSB Media Contact:
Terry N. Williams
(202) 314-6100
williat@ntsb.gov

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.