NTSB Identification: ATL96LA131.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 20, 1996 in TARBORO, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/03/1997
Aircraft: Beech A23, registration: N8879M
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.

During cruise flight, about half of one propeller blade separated from the airplane, resulting in substantial damage. An uneventful landing was made to a nearby airport. Metallurgical examination of the propeller blade revealed that it had failed from fatigue; the fatigue originated from a single corrosion pit on the camber side of the blade. Other corrosion pits were also noted on the camber side of the remaining portion of the blade. There was no record in the airplane log that the propeller had been reconditioned since its installation. The propeller was manufactured in September 1963 and sold to Beech Aircraft Corporation in August 1964. The airplane was manufactured in December 1964 and had accumulated 1851 hours of flight time. The propeller manufacturer recommended that the propeller be reconditioned after each 1,000 hours of operation.

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

fatigue failure of the propeller blade. Factors relating to the accident were: corrosion pit(s) on the propeller blade, and inadequate maintenance/inspection of the propeller.

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