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At the start of the take-off run, one propeller blade separated from the hub. The resulting propeller imbalance caused damage to the engine and airframe. The fracture was caused by the growth of a fatigue crack from the second blade retention thread. No material abnormalities or stress concentrators contributed to fatigue initiation. It was estimated that fatigue growth had occurred over a period of approximately 2100 take-off/landing cycles. The Civil Aviation Authority subsequently amended the Airworthiness Directives relating to this type of McCauley propeller, when fitted to agricultural aircraft. These amendments include a reduction in hours between overhauls, and more detailed inspections of the threaded section of the blades.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 15 October 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1530 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location:Orange Occurrence type:Propeller/rotor malfunction 
State: New South Wales Occurrence class: Technical 
Release date: 19 June 1989 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 185 
Aircraft registration: VH-UJT 
Serial number: 18503282 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Orange NSW
Departure time:N/A
Destination:"Charmaine", Orange NSW
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