Robin DR400/180 Regent, G-FTIL, 26 September 2003

Robin DR400/180 Regent, G-FTIL


The aircraft was being flown to an airfield for some pre-arranged scheduled maintenance. Shortly after a normal landing the aircraft veered violently to the left and the nose landing gear (NLG) collapsed. The nose landing gear was submitted for a detailed metallurgical examination which established that a fatigue failure had occurred in the narrow strap section of the upper support plate which had been the result of the circumferential separation of the fillet weld between the upper support plate and the outer cylinder and normal in-service loads. The weld was found to be of very poor quality. The cross-sectional dimensions of the weld were inadequate around the complete circumference for the type of joint and there was gross gas porosity in the area of the separation. Further examination revealed gross gas porosity throughout the complete circumference of the weld. The examination also revealed that the weld was the original manufacturing weld. Three safety recommendations were made to the aircraft manufacturer and the responsible airworthiness authority.

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