As the aircraft was lining up on the runway to take off, the flight crew heard a noise similar to a nosewheel passing over a runway centre light; they did not consider the noise to be unusual. During the takeoff roll, the flight crew in an aircraft holding near the start of the runway noticed one of the nosewheels depart EI-DLV and be blown off the runway into the area behind the threshold. They informed ATC who informed the crew of EI-DLV, which was now in the climb. A diversion was carried out to East Midlands Airport where an uneventful landing was made.
The nosewheel was found to have separated from the aircraft because the nose landing gear axle had failed at the left inboard journal (the part of the axle that rests on bearings). This was the result of heat-induced cracking and material property changes due to abusive grinding of the chrome plate during the part’s last overhaul almost three years earlier. The Maintenance and Repair Organisation that performed the overhaul has introduced a new inspection for detecting abusive grinding.
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Published 13 September 2018