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Improving Engine Accident Investigation to Develop Safer Flights, Essay Example

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Words: 1567

Essay

Introduction

            Accidents are expected to happen in any type of transportation operation. Relatively, it could be understood that with all these developments the assumption of particular unexpected situations to occur especially during actual operations which often involves jeopardizing the lives of the passengers. In the field of aircraft operations, it could be realized that its transformation from simply being a transfer vehicle for private individuals and institutions that can afford them to becoming more commercial in nature has increased the concern for developing safety measures that are to keep the lives of the passengers at  lesser rate of emergency situations. One of the most important aspects of such consideration rely on the manner by which aircrafts are develop according to a quality that would strengthen the capacity of the aircraft to carry and bring people as well as other elements being transported directly safe to their destinations.

One of the most common errors among particular aircraft accidents is the failure of the engine to function properly especially during the flight operation. Notably though, such consideration of particular occurrences specifically incriminate particular situations that occurred before the accidents that could be given attention to during investigations. Seeing through these pre-accident reports shall provide a better sense of understanding how and why the situation happened thus providing a blueprint of policies to specifically avoid the same accidents to happen again in the future. In the discussion that follows, a specific presentation on how engine reciprocation procedures could help in furthering the aircraft accident investigation approaches that are used hence further improving the safety of the passengers of planes around the globe at present and even in the future years of operation to come.

Background of Issue

            There have been several incidents that happened all around the globe involving air-accidents due to the anomalies that occur in relation to mismanaged aircraft function. Notably, it could be assumed that somehow, engine function has been considered to be the most common source of aircraft anomalies since the early 1980’s. Engines are considered to be the central operating system that powers up an aircraft to be able to function for the target customers. Hence, assuring its function to be at the best rate accounts for the lives of the people and the existence of the cargo that it carries from one destination towards another shall be able to undergo the journey in full safety.

It is assumed that the more effective the investigation procedures are, the more efficient and implicative the results would be in the process of improving engine creation. This function of development on the part of the improvement of investigation procedures shall make it easier for aircraft developers to find a way to make sure that the aircraft engines they manufacture would be best for the flight conditions that aircrafts often have to deal with at present.

Proposed Resolutions to the Problem

            The engine handles the management of fuel and the controlling operation of air pressure as well as the adjustment of other external and internal elements that are necessary for the complete operation of the aircraft. This is the reason why it is considered to be highly important for the attending engineers to check through the system before any particular flight schedule to be pursued. Most often than not, reported accidents involve improper management of the engines. Most likely, it could be understood that the condition of maintenance also have specific impact on the specifics of managing the engine’s integrity especially during the flight. Hence, to assure such negligence is not looked over during investigations, several procedures should be given attention to. These procedures include the points that follow.

  • Actual Scene Investigation based on the photos and diagrams created during the preliminary investigation operations. Seeing through the scenarios presented both through photos and diagrams and actual preliminary field report specifically provides the investigator a sense of distinction on what has perpetuated during the event.
  • Fire Investigation could follow if incase there are certain situations that should actually suggest the occurrence of fire during the incident. It should be realized that when it comes to matters of engine reciprocation, fires could be eventual and obvious, but there are also instances when they are seen beyond the external obvious situations that are presented through the evidences captured. Notably, there are ways to distinguish fire in the scenario. Relatively, fire in aircraft accidents often occur due to the misaligned process of oxidation reaction that produced light and heat during the flight’s operation. For aircraft accidents, there are actually four kinds of fire occurrences that could be noted, and these are as follows:
    1. Diffusion flame or open flame: this occurs through rapid oxidation through the production heat and light. The burning of the residual fuel following a fireball when an aircraft impact occurs often insists on the occurrence of an open fire.
    2. Deflagration: this is when intense heat and light is caused by the supersonic combustion.
    3. Detonation: usually characterized by shockwave, this particular type of fire is specifically noted to occur due to supersonic combustion happening in the an open space whereas the fire is practically infused due to external elements such as air and uncontrollable weather conditions.
    4. Explosion: This particular fire is close to that of the occurrence in the case of detonation only that it happens in a confined space hence making it easier for the fire to affect the internal physical attributes of the plane not to mention all those that are inside the vessel during the accident.

To make sure that the investigation is able to confirm fire, there are specific areas especially placed in the engine that should be checked accordingly. Such parts should include the hot engine parts, the engine exhaust, the overhead equipment, the bleed air system, the static discharge, the hot brakes, the friction sparks and the aircraft heaters. Measuring their temperature and testing their integrity of function through digital records before and during the flight is then considerable necessary for this process of the investigation.

Structural investigation is expected to follow through. This particular aspect of the examination is focused on the structure of the engine. Classifying whether or not the engine has been overstressed or under stressed is an important aspect of the process. Overstress specifically occurs due to the impact of external implications on the engine’s function, which both includes human and weather effects. Human-based, being that the pilot could have induced specific commands that might have pressured the function of the engine. Weather induced could include instances when turbulence occurs and the function of the engine becomes compromised hence jeopardizing the safety of the people and any other elements included in the flight.

Under stressed situations specifically involve instances when there occurs the inclusion of faulty manufacturing whereas specific parts of the engine do not work properly. Faulty repairs as part of the maintenance procedures undergone by the attending engineers that includes overseeing particular anomalies in the system often also cause further damages thus resulting to specific accidents.

One of the most catastrophic accidents that happened in the history of modern aviation is that of the situation on Boeing 737, Aloha 243. This accident was noted to have been caused by a crack in the fuselage thus affecting the overall engine function due to strong tearing away of the parts included in the area that is affected by the pressure. The aircraft then began to be torn part-by-part as it crashes to the ground.

            The failure of other engines as they are being operated on air could mean a better sense of operation on the upcoming engines that are still being manufactured. Relatively, noting what has gone wrong on one specific engine during a particular situation could improve the condition of integrity that other newly manufactured engines are to be implicated with, Interestingly, the success of these investigations would also distinctively increase the safety of the people who are to be travelling through air-based transportations.

Summary of Discussion

The need to assure human safety in handling air-based transport operations specifically give a sense of distinction on how aircrafts are supposed to be maintained and kept by the engineers and administrators. The fact that commercial air travel has become rather popular during this time of modern development, the need to assure safety of the people utilizing its service is indeed a critical part of the operation. Relatively, it could be understood that somehow, with the improved process of investigating aircraft accidents then and now would imply a stronger sense of developing engines that are more able to tolerate weather changes, extensive pressure from human intervention and other cases relatively connected to crucial points of jeopardized operations. This then would in turn increase the sense of safety that everyone has when they undergo air travel options.

References:

Lewis, Curl. (2009). Guide to reciprocating engine accident investigation. Aircraft Accident Journal.

Bahamas, Nassau. (2011). The Air Accident Investigation and Prevention. Unit of the Bahamas Civil Aviation Department. Aircraft Accident Field Investigation Guide. http://www.aaipu-bcaa.com/files/OtherDocs/AAIPU-AAFIG-01_AIRCRAFT_ACCIDENT_FIELD_INVESTIGATION_GUIDE.pdf. (Retrieved on July 4, 2013).

Ritti, Tullia; Grewe, Klaus; Kessener, Paul (2007), “A Relief of a Water-powered Stone Saw Mill on a Sarcophagus at Hierapolis and its Implications“, Journal of Roman Archaeology 20: 138–163.

Aircraft Accident Report (2011): Crash Following Loss of Engine Power Due to Fuel Exhaustion Air Methods Corporation. Eurocopter AS350 B2, N352LN Near Mosby, Missouri. http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2013/AAR1302.pdf. (Retrieved on July 4, 2013).

Aviation and Research Analysis Report. (2011). Aircraft Reciprocating- Engine Failure: An Analysis of Failure in a Complex Engineered System. http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/29980/b20070191.pdf. (Retrieved on July 4, 2013).

 

 

 

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