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Accident description
Last updated: 20 October 2017
Status:
Date:Monday 12 March 1990
Type:Silhouette image of generic NOMA model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
GAF Nomad N.24A
Operator:Royal Australian Air Force - RAAF
Registration: A18-401
C/n / msn: 128
First flight: 1982
Total airframe hrs:433
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:near Mallala, SA (   Australia)
Phase: Approach (APR)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Edinburgh RAAF Station, SA (YPED), Australia
Destination airport:Edinburgh RAAF Station, SA (YPED), Australia
Narrative:
The GAF Nomad N.24A transport plane was destroyed in an accident near Mallala, SA, Australia. The pilot was killed.
The tail plane broke off in flight and the aircraft crashed. The aircraft was allocated by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU).

After being manufactured in 1982, the airplane was used by GAF (renamed Aerospace Technologies of Australia - ASTA in 1987) for testing. Amongst others, service records indicated 177 hours of single engine ground running. This meant that the airplane was subjected to many high frequency asymmetric cycles.
Cracks initiated and grew predominately due to torsional loading. Upon delivery to the RAAF, the airplane was inspected but this failed to detect significant cracking.
The tailplane centre section failed in flight, 19 hours after the inspection.

Sources:
» Investigation of Nomad inflight tailplane failure / Australia DoD
» Scramble Vol.12, nr.02


Follow-up / safety actions
Following this crash all Nomads in the RAAF fleet were grounded.

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This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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