NTSB Identification: LAX98LA026.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, October 29, 1997 in AGUA DULCE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/09/1999
Aircraft: Striplin Aircraft Corporation LONE RANGER SLVR CLD, registration: N4478Y
Injuries: 1 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 stated that about 500 feet AGL the engine began to shake violently. His attempts to reduce the vibration by reducing the power were unsuccessful. He did not have enough altitude to return to the airport, and performed a forced landing to a vacant field. A flight crew from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department responded to the accident site and interviewed the pilot. He reported that the engine began to lose power after takeoff and he headed toward a field just south of the crash site. The pilot stated that he was too high and fast to land in the field and he turned around to land downwind. He said that at 30 feet AGL, the airplane stalled, fell to the ground, and nosed over. Witnesses reported that they heard an aircraft over fly their homes producing strange noises. They saw the aircraft make an abrupt turn to land and the landing gear struck the ground. The gear collapsed and the aircraft nosed over onto its back. The pilot/owner/builder reported that the drive belt had rolled forward out of the pulley in the belt reduction drive unit, which induced the vibration and caused a loss of drive power to the propeller.

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

Failure of the propeller system/drive assembly, and the pilot's failure to maintain flying speed, which resulted in a stall and subsequent impact with the ground. Inadequate maintenance/inspection of the propeller system was a contributing factor.

Full narrative available

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