Accident Piper PA-44-180 Seminole N30397,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 30571
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Date:Wednesday 14 April 1999
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA44 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-44-180 Seminole
Owner/operator:Flight Safety International
Registration: N30397
MSN: 44-7995074
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Vero Beach, FL -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:VRB
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
While maneuvering the airplane at 4,000 feet above ground level, the flightcrew heard a loud noise from the left engine and saw that the left engine had dropped down about 45 degrees from the normal position. They returned to the departure airport for an emergency landing. When the landing gear was extended the left engine dropped down further. They were unable to maintain directional control due to the drag and made a forced landing in a wooded area. Post crash examination showed the left propeller hub had failed due to fatigue cracking causing a blade to separate. The remainder of the propeller separated when the propeller flange separated due to overstress and the engine dropped down when the engine mount separated due to overstress. The left propeller had sustained damage in a gear up landing 525 flight hours before the accident. The blades were bent beyond repairable limits and scrapped. The hub was inspected and returned to service with new blades. The manufacturer's procedures call for a hub to be retired if the blades receive damage beyond repairable limits and are scrapped.

Probable Cause: The improper return to service of a propeller hub by a propeller overhaul company which according to manufacturer's procedures should have been retired due to damage to propeller blades from sudden stoppage. This resulted in undetected fatigue propagation through the hub and separation of a propeller blade in flight. This resulted in overstress separation of the propeller flange and the remainder of the propeller and overstress separation of the engine mount causing the engine to drop down making the aircraft uncontrollable.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
26-Nov-2017 12:41 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Cn, Operator, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
17-Nov-2022 16:04 Ron Averes Updated [Aircraft type]

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