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NTSB Blames Air Tour Crash on PMA Part

By James T. McKenna | May 31, 2007

The “inadequate design” of a key PMA engine part caused the June 2003 crash of an air tour McDonnell Douglas 369D in Hawaii that killed four, the U.S. NTSB has concluded. The board ruled May 29 that the June 15, 2003 crash of the Tropical Tour Helicopter aircraft followed the fatigue fracture and separation of the compressor coupling adapter, which disconnected the compressor from the turbine section of the Rolls-Royce 250 engine. The adapter, which the board said was produced under an FAA parts manufacturing authority (PMA) “by a company other than Rolls-Royce,” failed due to “the inadequate design of the coupling and the coaxial misalignment of the spur adapter gear, compressor-coupling adapter, and compressor impeller during recent engine maintenance where the gearbox was removed and replaced.” The board added that Rolls-Royce had records of “12 other compressor-coupling adapters that had fractured and failed, with all instances of the failure/fracture occurring in this specific new coupling design, which was significantly different than the previous design.” For related news

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