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Flying A/C Involved In An Accident?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 5:39 pm

Have any of you ever flown an airplane that you knew was once involved in an accident and then returned to service?

I'm wondering, how can you be fairly certain that there isn't any "hidden damage" and that the once damaged airplane can be flown safely?
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RE: Flying A/C Involved In An Accident?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 6:31 pm

Yes, I flew a C-182 that had been damaged in a landing accident in the 60's. I wasn't worried about any hidden damages since it appearently has been working for 40 years.


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RE: Flying A/C Involved In An Accident?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 6:57 pm

How can you be certain there weren't any mistakes made in the factory when building a brand-spanking-new aircraft? How can you be certain that no damage was done during the last overhaul? How can you be certain that the last guy flying the aircraft didn't do something stupid that he did not report?

It's down to trust. If you don't trust whoever got the aircraft repaired, don't fly it. I for one will not fly an aircraft that someone else preflighted and signed off without flying it without checking it over myself first. That's where my trust ends.

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RE: Flying A/C Involved In An Accident?

Sat Feb 14, 2004 7:07 pm

I flew on Virgin's A340 G-VSUN who's brakes caught on fire on landing in HKG. I assumed that something like the brakes would have been replaced, and after the aircraft had been flying for 4 years since I flew it, I had no worries about hopping on board.

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On the reverse side of the post, I flew on Alaska Airlines MD-80, N963AS, a week before it crashed off Point Magu on JAN 31, 2000.

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RE: Flying A/C Involved In An Accident?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:27 am

The multi I fly has been in a gear up landing. It was way back in the 70s. I have also flown a bunch of other Katanas that have had several pathces in them.
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RE: Flying A/C Involved In An Accident?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:43 am

I flew a PA-12 last summer that flew into a treeline 15 years ago. Pilot was looking at the ground crew and didn't notice the trees infront of him. I had no worries because I helped rebuild it the year before from the frame up  Smile

I checked NTSB reports and found that a PA18 I flew once was involved in THREE engine failures in a one year span (you'd think after the first two jugs let go, they'd look at the other two!) The damage couldn't have been to extensive as one of them was two weeks after the other (d'oh!)

I've flown a C152 that had a hard landing that caused extensive damage, but was returned to service. The accident was 20 years before I flew it, so any faulty repairs would have made themselves apparent by then.

Those are just the more memorable ones, I know there's more...

The fact is, you'll never really know what kind of damage history and aircraft has had (and when you're talking about 25+ year old training aircraft, there IS damage history) unless you go through it's logbooks, and even then it's hit and miss (the mechanic might not say "aircraft involved in accident" more likely it would be something like "removed and replaced engine xxxxx with xxxx 0-timed factory overhaul, new prop, nose gear, wheel..."

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RE: Flying A/C Involved In An Accident?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:46 am

Any maintainer worth his/her salt will take primary structure into account when restoring damaged aircraft.

Many airframe manufacturers include specific inspections that may include various non-destructive inspection methods (eddy current, x-ray etc..) to find the "hidden" damage following such incidents as heavy landings or lightning strikes. Inspection procedures even exist for gear-up landings in some cases.

When a maintainer releases an aircraft following repair, he/she is declaring that the aircraft (or at very least the areas affected by the repair) conform with the type design. That is quite a huge responsibility especially following an accident. Most don't take this responsibility lightly.

[Edited 2004-02-14 16:47:19]
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RE: Flying A/C Involved In An Accident?

Sun Feb 15, 2004 5:35 am

This plane was in a gear up landing awhile back and I fly it all the time.
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