NTSB Identification: FTW92LA210.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47527.
Accident occurred Monday, August 17, 1992 in RUSSELLVILLE, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-180, registration: N5981P
Injuries: 1 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, WHO WAS ALSO THE MECHANIC, WAS PERFORMING AN IN FLIGHT RIGGING CHECK OF THE AIRPLANE. DURING CLIMB, A POP SOUND WAS HEARD AND PROPELLER THRUST WAS LOST. MOVEMENT OF THE PROPELLER CONTROL HAD NO EFFECT AND AN EMERGENCY DESCENT WAS INITIATED BY THE PILOT. A 35 TO 40 DEGREE NOSE DOWN ATTITUDE WAS REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN 85 KNOTS DURING THE FORCED LANDING TO A ROAD. THE ENGINE WAS NOT SECURED BY THE PILOT. A HARD LANDING OCCURRED AT AN ESTIMATED 1,800 FEET PER MINUTE DESCENT RATE, ACCORDING TO THE PILOT. THE PROPELLER SYSTEM WAS TORN DOWN AND TWO STAKING PINS WERE MISSING. THE GUIDE COLLAR, ROD, FORK, AND PISTON HAD ROTATED AROUND THE HUB. THE PROPELLER BLADES WERE DISCONNECTED FROM THE PITCH CHANGE MECHANISM. THE PROPELLER ASSEMBLY HAD BEEN OVERHAULED AND INSTALLED ON THE AIRCRAFT APPROXIMATELY 31.7 HOURS PRIOR TO THE FAILURE.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER FLARE. FACTORS WERE THE PROPELLER SYSTEM'S PITCH CHANGE MECHANISM DISCONNECTED DUE TO IMPROPER OVERHAUL AND FAILURE TO INSTALL THE STAKING PINS BY OTHER MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL.

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