On 30 May 2015, a Fasterway powered parachute, recreational registration 19-7677, collided with terrain near Theodore, Queensland. The pilot, the sole occupant, died as a result of the accident.
As part of its assistance to Queensland Coronial authorities, Recreational Aviation Australia (RA-Aus) requested technical assistance from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) in the visual examination of a fractured bolt from the powered parachute (Figure 1). The bolt and associated eyenut was one of four assemblies that attached the parachute to the frame of the aircraft.
To protect the information supplied by RA-Aus to the ATSB and the ATSB's investigative work to provide the requested assistance, the ATSB initiated an investigation under the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.
The fracture surface was smooth, flat, and perpendicular to the principal axis of the bolt. Crack progression marks (beach marks) extended radially from one side of the bolt and covered approximately 90% of the fracture surface area (Figure 2). The remaining small region towards the outer edge of the bolt exhibited features consistent with an overstress failure. The large area of fatigue cracking and small overstress area indicated that failure of the bolt was due to high cycle low stress fatigue cracking.
The above information was provided to RA-Aus. At the request of the Coroner, no further work was undertaken by the ATSB.
The information contained in this web update is released in accordance with section 25 of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003.