NTSB Identification: NYC00LA176.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 22, 2000 in FREDERICKSBURG, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/17/2001
Aircraft: Schwarz AVID AMPHIBIAN, registration: N61HS
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot adjusted the homebuilt airplane's propeller pitch and after a normal ground run-up he departed for a test flight. He stated that the takeoff was normal and the engine sounded 'smooth.' After reaching an altitude of about 300 to 400 feet (agl), the airplane experienced a sharp reduction in power. The RPM dropped from 6,600 to 5,700; however, the engine sound remained constant. The pilot retarded the throttle and then advanced the throttle forward. The engine RPM increased momentarily then dropped to about 5,000 RPM. The pilot was unable to maintain altitude and performed a forced landing to a cornfield. Examination of the airplane did not revealed any catastrophic airframe or engine malfunctions. Additionally, the airplane's engine ran smoothly during a post accident test run performed by the pilot; however, examination of the propeller reduction gearbox revealed that the steel cage of the sprague clutch bearing was 'cracked and partially disintegrated.'

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

A failure of the propeller reduction gear assembly for undetermined reasons, which resulted in a loss of thrust.

Full narrative available

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