NTSB Identification: FTW98FA392.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 19, 1998 in THORNTON, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-20-180, registration: N6028D
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While in cruise flight at 1,200 feet agl, on a banner tow flight, 21.6 inches of one of the two bladed 38-inch propeller blades separated from the aircraft. The engine separated from three of the four engine mounts and swung around against the right side of the aircraft. The remaining propeller blade penetrated the cockpit but did not strike the pilot. The aircraft became uncontrollable and impacted in a field after striking trees in the back yard of a home. The propeller blade failed due to fatigue from corrosion pitting. The pilot received serious injuries.

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

The separation of a propeller blade due to corrosion initiated fatigue, followed by the separation of several of the engine's mounts, and the subsequent inability of the pilot to control the aircraft. A contributing factor was the trees.

Full narrative available

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