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Whilst taxiing for a night departure, the right propeller was struck by a large bird, resulting in the separation of one propeller blade. The ensuing vibration caused substantial damage to the engine mountings and firewall, before the engine could be shut down.

A technical analysis determined that the blade had failed in overload about 15cms from the blade root whilst the propeller was in fine pitch. There was no evidence of any pre-existing cracking or defects in the area which may have contributed to the failure.

The blade had completed 10,228 hours of operation since new and 3,805 hours since last overhaul. The aircraft records indicated that there were no outstanding maintenance requirements on the propeller. The blade complied with all propeller certification requirements.

Witnesses described the bird carcass as that of a Brolga. This species grows to a height of 0.7 to 1.3 metres with a mass of 10 to 15 kilograms.

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