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Last updated: 22 February 2019
Date:Monday 20 March 2017
Type:Silhouette image of generic SW4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II
Operator:Western Air Express
Registration: N158WA
C/n / msn: TC-411
First flight: 1981
Total airframe hrs:28602
Engines: 2 Garrett TPE331-10UA
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Boise Air Terminal, ID (BOI) (   United States of America)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Departure airport:Boise Air Terminal, ID (BOI/KBOI), United States of America
Destination airport:Denver-Centennial Airport, CO (APA/KAPA), United States of America
A Swearingen SA226-TC, N158WA, was substantially damaged due to foreign object damage to the airplane's propeller and fuselage during initial takeoff/climb from Boise Air Terminal, Idaho, USA.
According to Federal Aviation Administration personnel, about the time the airplane was rotating from runway 10L, the pilot experienced a light vibration; he subsequently returned to BOI and landed uneventfully. During a post-landing examination of the airplane, it was revealed that a portion of the outboard section of a left propeller blade, which had fragmented into 2 pieces, was missing. Additionally, about a 4 inch by 4 inch puncture hole was observed to have gone through the left forward side of the fuselage just aft of the main air stair door; a piece of the propeller blade was found in the cabin. It was further noted during a runway sweep for foreign objects shortly after the occurrence, that a screw driver which had been used during maintenance on the airplane earlier, and the second piece of the propeller blade tip, were both recovered from the departure runway in the same approximate location from where the airplane would have rotated.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Company maintenance personnel's failure to remove a screwdriver that was left lodged in the windshield wiper area of the forward fuselage during maintenance and subsequently became dislodged on takeoff/initial climb and collided with a left propeller blade."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 8 months
Accident number: GAA17CA114
Download report: Final report




photo of Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II N158WA
photo of Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II N158WA
photo of Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II N158WA
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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Boise Air Terminal, ID to Denver-Centennial Airport, CO as the crow flies is 1037 km (648 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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