NTSB Identification: LAX96LA347.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 12, 1996 in PALM SPRINGS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N5388L
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 the departure climb about 2,500 feet msl, there was a loud bang, followed by severe airframe vibration. The pilot closed the throttle and pulled the mixture control into idle cutoff. The pilot established a glide and made an uneventful off-airport landing. Postaccident examination revealed that about 20 inches of one propeller blade was missing. The remaining propeller blade and hub was sent the Safety Board's Materials Testing Laboratory for analysis. The analysis report documented a crack progression starting at the blade's trailing edge and migrating forward through about 50 percent of the chord. At that point the blade failed from overload. The report indicated that a mechanical type damage had occurred at the trailing edge crack initiation point. According to the records, at the time of this accident the engine and the propeller had accumulated 307.24 hours since overhaul.

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

the failure of a propeller blade as a result of undetected in-service mechanical damage that caused a stress point that progressed to a point of failure.

Full narrative available

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