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Approaching the top of climb the left engine began to surge moderately. Engine temperature and pressure appeared normal. Although the pilot carried out trouble checks the surging continued and moderate vibration was noticed. The pilot decided to return to Sydney, but two minutes later an audible 'crack' was heard from the engine. The propeller was feathered, the engine secured, and the aircraft continued to Sydney for an uneventful single engine landing. It was later determined that the left engine crankshaft had suffered a fatigue failure at the forward crankweb. The shaft was on its second life and had completed 265 hours since the engine was last reconditioned. No rework had been performed on the shaft during reconditioning.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 11KB]
General details
Date: 28 October 1992 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 19:30 ESuT  
 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Release date: 03 August 1994 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Incident 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-31-350 
Aircraft registration: VH-NDU 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Sydney NSW
Destination:Forbes NSW
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Last update 07 July 2015