NTSB Identification: MIA99LA130.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 14, 1999 in SEBRING, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2000
Aircraft: ZEMP AVID CATALINA, registration: N9224T
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that during cruise flight, at 1,000-feet agl, his experimental, pusher engine, hull configured amphibian sustained a propeller blade(s) separation and when he reduced power to alleviate the extreme vibration, the engine quit. The pilot's only option was to attempt an emergency landing to a clear spot in an abandoned orange grove. The aircraft collided with sand furrows and high vegetation sustaining heavy damage to the airframe. Examination of the wreckage revealed that 2 of the 3 composite propeller blades were missing as well as the engine's left/front exhaust pipe. All that remained of the missing exhaust pipe was its attaching hardware to its exhaust port and a short stub revealing a 360-degree circumferential crack.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The in-flight separation of one of the propeller blade's and one of the engine's exhaust pipes causing the engine to vibrate until it stopped running. A related factor was the unsuitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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