• Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

How Many Cracks Does An Examination Bracket Conceal In A Refurbished Airplane Part?

When I watched the movie Point Of No Return* (true story - aviation safety), it reminded me of when I was contracted to work at Prax... (name rhymes with lair) in 2004, as a technical writer of new job instructions and process routers for manufacture and overhaul of commercial and military aircraft parts, e.g., beveled gears, doweled end bolts, etc.

I knew that my observations would not be well-received by this well-established company founded in 1907, I was there simply to document their procedures, but it was my moral duty to point out to the department supervisor that some of the airplane parts that they refurbished were not fully scanned for fatigue or concussion cracks because the brackets that held those parts for examination covered fairly large sections of the parts. Those brackets prevented sections of those parts from being examined. I could not document that process uncorrected.

This is a sad memory for me due to the implications for failure of those parts when they were installed in airplanes in service, i.e., a crash hazard; and personally because they fired me instead of correcting their process.

According to the movie Point Of No Return, there are millions of dollars to be made in refurbishing parts recovered from airplane crashes, worn-out planes, and in re-certifying after-market parts.


"THE STORY ‘Point of no return’ is a fast paced conspiracy thriller set in the world of international aviation (United Kingdom). Peter (a young aircraft engineer) is deceived by his manager, Jason, into substituting faulty aircraft parts. When a part explodes, killing a passenger, Air accident investigation..."

Watch Point of No Return | Prime Video (amazon.com)

How many cracks does an examination bracket conceal in a refurbished airplane part?

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2021

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