NTSB Identification: SEA97LA147.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 20, 1997 in BEND, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/28/2000
Aircraft: Wolf SMITH M/P DSA-1, registration: N168RW
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 took off and circled the airport for several minutes, then entered a traffic pattern opposite the normal pattern direction for the runway. A witness in the runup area stated that while the accident aircraft was on final, he saw its propeller stopped. This witness stated that at that time, another aircraft was taking off in the opposite direction of the runway. The witness reported that he then observed the accident aircraft make a sharp turn away from the runway (at 50 to 100 feet above the ground), then abruptly enter a steep descent to ground impact 1/4 mile northeast of the runway. Only one of the aircraft's two wood/composite propeller blades was located; this blade had chordwise yellow scratches across its back surface. A yellow piece of the accident aircraft, with the appearance of an air scoop, was found 3/4 mile north-northwest the airport. The lip of this scoop was abraded 3/4 of the way around its circumference. No discrepancies indicative of engine malfunction were found in a post-accident engine teardown. The engine was rated for 200 horsepower, although the airframe was designed for 65- to 125-horsepower engines.

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

An inflight propeller blade separation, and a subsequent evasive turn to avoid traffic by the pilot at an inadequate airspeed resulting in an accelerated stall. Factors were excessive power output of the installed engine, an aircraft taking off in the opposite direction of the landing runway, and the aircraft's low altitude at the time of the stall.

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