Exemplar Comparison Eliminates Aircraft Engine as Cause of Fatal Accident


In an effort to determine if mechanical failure may have contributed to the cause of a fatal airplane crash, an airplane engine manufacturer retained RJ Lee Group to examine components of the 30-year old engine involved in the accident. Provided with the information that some engine components were replaced with aftermarket items during an overhaul three years previously, we inspected the recovered engine components and noted their general condition. Using optical and electron microscopy, we compared the crash carburetor and engine components to an exemplar engine and fuel delivery system and observed that wear features and deposits were typical of in-service operation. The metallurgical investigation of the engine components concluded that no evidence was identified to support a mechanical cause for the accident.