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Summary

Summary

The pilot reported that shortly after establishing cruise at 300 feet above ground level the aircraft suddenly began to shake as if something had been thrown into the propeller. The engine stopped shortly afterward and, after establishing a glide and making a radio call, the pilot attempted to restart the engine. The engine would not turn over. A landing amongst scattered scrub and clumps of grass was made. Examination of the propeller disclosed that one blade had failed due to a large fatigue crack adjacent to the mounting holes in the blade root. The blade had then severed a bracing wire running between the wing trailing edge and the fuselage behind the propeller. The wire had become entangled in the other propeller blades. The propeller blades were constructed of fibreglass strands in a resin matrix covered with a layer of carbon fibre cloth. Visual and x-ray examination of the blades indicated that the strands were not uniform in direction in the area of the blade roots, some sections had no strands at all, and there were voids in the matrix. These faults reduced the strength of the blades in that area. All blades showed evidence of fatigue cracking near the mounting holes. The holes had been made by multiple drilling. The blade manufacturer advised that he was aware of the faults and had altered the production method. He had advised all owners of similar blades of the deficiencies. This accident was not the subject of a formal on-scene investigation.

 
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