Aviation In Canada

Friday, March 25, 2005

Aviation Story, Part 4 of 4

Dave Anderson's critique of his own situation...

The broken blade (the first item to leave the aircraft) fell on State Highway 46 three miles east of the town of Lost Hills and was retrieved by the California Highway Patrol. Two weeks later the broken crankshaft with attached propeller hub and remaining blade was found in the middle of a cotton field by a cultivating crew. The distance between these two finds was just over one half mile. My incident was the first inflight prop failure of this model McCauley propeller. Three other failures happened on aircraft at engine run up or during initial ground roll while attempting takeoff. The propeller failure on 4903U was investigated by the FAA and resulted in the issuance of an AD for said propeller assembly. Investigation revealed that the propeller on 4903U had suffered a ground strike while operated by a previous owner. The FAA calculated that I had flown 4903U for approximately 200 hours with a severely cracked blade thread assembly. A baseball size piece of the broken threaded end of the blade that first broke loose resides on my desk and serves as a important reminder for me to always know the history of a newly purchased aircraft.