The passengers on China Airlines Flight 006 had a very memorable flight when the crew lost control and the aeroplane went into a high-speed dive.

Various pieces of the aircraft were torn off. The plane was repaired and returned to service, with its wings bent permanently upwards by 5cm.

How did this permanent damage affect it afterwards? Did it fly or perform noticeably differently? Did it require a special inspection regime for the rest of its operating life?

  • $\begingroup$ If a dimension has permanently changed, it means the metal has "yielded", or stretched beyond its elastic limit (like when you over stretch a spring and it's longer than originally, and cantilever metal structures are big springs). The part that's yielded isn't as strong as before. Perhaps they did a "geometry shoot" where the overall dimensions are measured and the deformation was still within specification and decided it was ok as is, but I would have expected the yielded components to have been replaced. We don't know the details of the repair so there's no way to know for sure. $\endgroup$ – John K Jun 12 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ The additional dihedral probably made it more stable... $\endgroup$ – Juan Jimenez Jun 12 at 13:58
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    $\begingroup$ ... and jauntier. $\endgroup$ – Daniele Procida Jun 12 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnK Aluminium alloys are not necessarily weaker after stretching, as may be found in this doc $\endgroup$ – Koyovis Jun 12 at 14:17
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    $\begingroup$ @user71659 If something is "permanently bent" I think that implies that it stayed that way. $\endgroup$ – Daniele Procida Jun 12 at 15:55

As you know the aircraft manufacturers keep tracking their aircrafts because any accident of these would damage their reputation. All automatic data transmissions are traced by the manufacturer whether the operator has a tracking contract with the manufacturer or not. Should it had an asymmetrical behavior causing any dangerous consequences the manufacturer would have made what is necessary to ground it.

In the website you refer to, it is written « After repairs were made to the plane, it returned to service on 25 April 1985. It continued in service for nearly 12 years »:

I may assume this aircraft has landed in Europe, or in USA, should it have been dangerous, it would have been grounded.

As far economical performances are concerned, that’s secondary compared to safety, it is the operator decision to evaluate to make it fly or not if it becomes less economical.

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    $\begingroup$ Were automatic data transmissions a thing in the 1980s? $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Jun 13 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ These are ACARS messages, automatic maintenance data started in the mid 80’s , but this aircraft resumed flying in 1985 for 12 years with the same operator and even continued flying after that for some more years. Further Boeing has its own means to trace these problems $\endgroup$ – user40476 Jun 13 at 13:01

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