MAJOR fire damage was prevented on a Bombardier C Series CS100 test aircraft thanks to a fuel tank inerting system with key parts supplied by a Fareham company, investigators have concluded.
An inquiry was held by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada into the accident at Montreal International Airport in May 2014 and its findings were released this week.
Two pilots and four engineers were on board an FTV-1 aircraft as it conducted engine ground runs when the left engine experienced a sudden power loss caused by a turbine rotor failure.
A large burning turbine disk tore through the wing following the engine explosion, investigators found.
The disk fragment penetrated the left wing, and travelled through the centre fuel tank before lodging in the upper skin.
The investigation report found that, at the time of the accident, the aircraft had been loaded with 10,648kg of fuel, of which 5,540kg was located in the centre tank.
The debris penetrated the tank just outboard of the fuel level, and passed through the unfilled space in the tank, which had been kept in a reduced-flammability state using nitrogen-enriched air generated by the inerting system.
While the engine explosion caused substantial damage to the airframe, the inquiry concluded that the fuel tank inerting system – which was designed and supplied by Parker Aerospace, containing Porvair Filtration Group’s inerting filter – had played a key preventative role by offsetting greater fire damage.
Andy Cowan, from Porvair, said: ‘This incident illustrates the necessity of fuel tank inerting systems.’