Aviation safety investigations & reports

Main landing gear wheel failure involving a Boeing 737, ZK-ZQB at Sydney Airport NSW on 10 June 2014

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 10 June 2014, a Boeing 737 aircraft, registered ZK-ZQB and operated by Jetconnect Limited, landed at Sydney Airport, New South Wales. During taxiing, the crew felt a slight shuddering from around the main landing gear; they also observed that they required a higher-than-normal thrust to taxi the aircraft. An inspection found that pieces of metal had fallen onto the runway and that the right, outer main wheel was leaning over. The inboard wheel half-hub had fractured into several pieces.

An examination of the fatigue failure indicated the origin most likely occurred in the area of the bearing bore radius. The wheel manufacturer examined the failure and concluded it was likely that the fatigue crack initiated in the stress-concentrated, transition region between the bearing bore wall and the circumferential radius. Ultrasonic testing of this area detected possible small fatigue cracks or origins.

Due to previous failures of wheel hubs with the same part number, service bulletins and requirements for inspection had been issued by the aircraft and wheel manufacturers. The maintenance records showed that required inspections had been performed.

The ATSB was advised by the aircraft operator that they are upgrading their fleet with carbon brakes from a different manufacturer. As a result, all current main wheel assemblies will be replaced with wheels from that manufacturer; hence, those wheels will have a different part number. The modification program of fitment with new wheels and brakes commenced in February 2015 and will be completed by the end of May 2015.

Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 41


Download Final report
[Download  PDF: 495KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOCX: 775KB]

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General details
Date: 10 June 2014   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 8:30 EST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Sydney Airport    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Landing gear/indication  
Release date: 10 June 2015   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer The Boeing Company  
Aircraft model 737-838  
Aircraft registration ZK-ZQB  
Serial number 34201/3006  
Operator Qantas Jet Connect  
Type of operation Air Transport High Capacity  
Sector Jet  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Departure point Auckland, NZ  
Destination Sydney, NSW  
Last update 14 November 2018