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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ENG06IA018
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Incident occurred Friday, June 02, 2006 in Los Angeles, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2008
Aircraft: Boeing 767-223(ER), registration: N330AA
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators traveled in support of this investigation and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft incident report.

The Boeing 767 was undergoing a high-power test of the left-hand General Electric (GE) CF6-80C2 engine to troubleshoot a pilot's report of the engine being unable to make climb thrust. During the test, the engine experienced an uncontained failure of the high pressure turbine (HPT) stage 1 disk. Examination of the pieces of the disk revealed the disk failed from an intergranular fatigue crack that originated from a small depression on the blade slot bottom aft corner radius. There were two other intergranular fatigue cracks that originated from small depressions on other blade slot bottom aft corner radii. Intergranular fatigue cracks are typically associated with very high stresses that exceed the material's capability. GE issued service bulletins (SB) to require inspections of CF6-80A and -80C2 HPT stage 1 disks that the FAA mandated with airworthiness directives (AD), but the SBs and AD did not establish a compliance schedule. When the SBs and AD was revised to establish a compliance schedule, the schedule was such that disks with much higher cycles since new, than those that had previously failed or were found cracked, were permitted to remain in service. On August 26, 2006, the Safety Board issued safety recommendation A-06-60 through A-06-64, which addressed these deficiencies. The recommendations can be found at the following url address:

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident as follows:
  • The HPT stage 1 disk failed from an intergranular fatigue crack because of GE's inadequate design of the CF6-80 series HPT stage 1 disk. The inadequate design of the disk resulted in a high stress area in the blade slot bottom aft corner that was at or nearly at the material's capability so that there was no damage tolerance such that a small dent could cause a crack to initiate and propagate to failure. Contributing to the disk's failure was the FAA's failure to mandate an accelerated inspection schedule after a previous CF6-80A uncontained HPT stage 1 disk failure had occurred and after other CF6-80A HPT disks had been found during routine overhaul to have cracks in the blade slot bottom aft corners.