Experimental probability of detection (POD) and probability of sizing (POS) curves are developed for the detection and sizing of surface-breaking cracks in components having complex geometry. A manual ultrasonic time of flight diffraction (TOFD) inspection system has been used to develop these POD and POS curves. Initially, it was assumed and subsequently verified that signal responses have a normal distribution. The effects of probe angle and probe center-to-center spacing on both POD and POS were observed. Unlike the PODs previously reported for conventional ultrasonic amplitude based flaw sizing techniques, the PODs associated with TOFD in the range of defect sizes considered here, exhibit a decreasing trend for a fixed set of experimental parameters. It is important to emphasize that the curves obtained in this work are specific to the geometry, specimen dimensions, set of notches and the specific probes used in the experiment. However, when using a manual TOFD inspection system, these curves can be useful for planning the risk-based inspection of components having complex geometry (such as a steam turbine rotor shaft). © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.