Page:Aviation Accident Report, Western Air Lines Flight 1.pdf/8

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The wing was collapsed and deformed appreciably. The lower surface indicated contact with the ground, evidenced, by scratches, cuts and local collapse of the ribs at various points. The aileron was partially torn from the wing and its outboard portion was bent upward, together with the wing tip. The presence of small tears in the aileron fabric gave evidence of flapping.

The wing flaps on both sides of the airplane were found lowered to an angle of approximately 25°. The condition of the flap actuating mechanism and the flap indicator in the pilots' compartment revealed that they were in a lowered position prior to the impact of the airplane with the ground.

The fuselage was extensively damaged along its entire length, the rear portion having sustained practically the same degree of damage as the nose portion.

The tail surfaces were found to have sustained a number of major breaks. There was relatively little damage to the left side of the horizontal surfaces. The lower surfaces of the left elevator and stabilizer showed signs of having scraped the ground. This stabilizer was fractured along the side of the fuselage, and the attachment of the corresponding elevator to the torque tube within the tail cone was found severed. The right stabilizer was also fractured along its intersection with the fuselage, this fracture being more pronounced than the corresponding one on the left stabilizer. There was an additional major failure which ran diagonally, starting at the inboard portion of the rear spar and extending outboard to a point at the leading edge. This failure was evidenced by tearing of the upper skin and by pronounced wrinkling on the lower surface. No apparent signs were found of contact of the right stabilizer with the ground. The rubber de-icer boor along the leading edge was in relatively good condition, although there was a small cut on the upper portion near the tip. The condition of the tail assembly was such that the right stabilizer could be bent by hand upward and against the rubber. The right elevator was found broken into one small and two large pieces. There were three major breaks, one at the connection of the elevator to the torque tube at the tail cone, the second adjacent to the inboard hinge, and the last at the outboard hinge. The break adjacent to the inboard hinge included a complete fracture of the torque tube. At a number of points on the elevator the fabric indicated that it had been frayed by flapping at one time or another. The vertical fin was in fairly good condition, with the antenna and its fin attachment intact. The rudder, apparently jammed by impact, was found deflected to the left approximately 30°. It had sustained damage as if hit from the right side, the fabric being torn and some of the ribs crushed. Pieces of fabric from both sides of the rudder were found at various points a few hundred yards from the wreckage and the fabric remaining with the surface showed signs of flapping. Slight scratches and black marks on the right side of the rudder registered with the small cut in the rubber boot at the leading edge of the stabilizer when the latter was bent up against the rudder.

There was no indication of malfunctioning of the control system during flight.