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A Review on Aloha Airlines

Flight 243: Materials


Engineers Perspective
BAYANI, Juchris
CALINISAN, Ronerick
RIA, John Jaymar
ROSALES, Ruth Naomi
INTRODUCTION: History of the flight
April 28, 1988, Aloha Airlines B-737, N73711 was scheduled for a
series of interisland flights
05:00 HST, first officer checked in and performed preflight inspection;
airplane maintenance log release was signed; no open discrepancies
05:10 HST, captain checked in for duty
Crew flew with 3 uneventful roundtrip flights; airplane systems
performed in normal and expected manner; flight crew visual exterior
inspections between flights were not required

INTRODUCTION: History of the flight
11:00 HST, scheduled first officer change; uneventful flight from
Honolulu to Maui and then Maui to Hilo; no noted structural
abnormalities; no required crew visual exterior inspection
13:25 HST, flight 243 departed from Hilo to Honolulu with Maui as
alternative landing airport; 2 pilots, 3 flight attendants, 1 FAA air
traffic controller, and 89 passengers
First officer conducted takeoff without using autopilot; captain
performed nonflying pilot duties; flight conducted in visual
meteorological conditions
INTRODUCTION: History of the flight
At 24,000 ft, a loud clap or whooshing sound followed by a wind
noise; debris floating in the cockpit, entry door was missing, flight
controls felt loose; decompression occurred
Captain began emergency descent, 4 100 ft per minute at some point;
flight diverting to Maui for emergency landing
13:58:45 HST, flight 243 landed in Maui airport; normal touch down
and landing roll out
After the incident, a passenger stated that she noticed a longitudinal
fuselage crack along S-10 lap joint

SAFETY ISSUES

1. The quality of air carrier maintenance programs and the FAA
surveillance of those programs
2. The engineering design, certification, and continuing airworthiness
of the B-737 with particular emphasis on multiple site fatigue
cracking of the fuselage lap joints
3. The human factors aspects of air carrier maintenance and
inspection for the continuing airworthiness of transport category
airplanes, to include repair procedures and the training,
certification and qualifications of mechanics and inspectors
CONSEQUENCES
1. Damage to Plane
2. Injuries and Fatalities
3. Effect of the accident on Aloha Airlines
INVESTIGATION
PROBABLE CAUSE ANALYSIS OF FAILURE
1. Disbonding/Fatigue of Lap Joint
2. Explosive Decompression
3. Failure to follow company protocol (maintenance force)

INVESTIGATION
FINDINGS
1. Weather Factors
2. Deficient Certification
3. Left Engine Inoperative
4. Fuselage Failure
5. Fatigue Cracking
6. Eddy Current Inspections
7. Others

CORRECTIVE ACTIONS
IMPROVEMENT ON COMPANY PROTOCOL
1. Develop a Model Program for Comprehensive Corrosion
2. Revise maintenance from cycle point of view instead of flight hours
3. Upgrade Technical Division
References
1. National Transportation Safety Board
2. Hashmi, Nauman. Revisiting Aloha Airline Flight 243: Corrosion
Engineers Stand Point. School of Chemical and Materials
Engineering, National University of Science and Technology,
Islamabad, Pakistan.