NTSB Identification: LAX03LA110.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 08, 2003 in San Diego, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/01/2004
Aircraft: Kolb Company Firestar, registration: N670JW
Injuries: 2 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 airplane nosed over following an emergency landing in an open field. The pilot was flying westward toward the coastline at 1,500 feet. He heard a "bang," and then felt abnormal vibrations. He elected to perform an emergency landing in an open field. Upon landing in the soft ground the airplane nosed over. Initial inspection revealed a splintered propeller. The manufacturer's examination of the carbon fiber composite propeller revealed numerous indentations on the leading edges and patterns consistent with a foreign object strike that occurred prior to blade delamination. The manufacturer identified a 1.9-inch-wide abrasion mark along the entire blade width that resembled patterns that are commonly associated with nylon safety belt webbing. The aircraft kit manufacturer reported that the standard harness webbing provided by them is 1.75 inches wide. The pilot said that the rear seat of the airplane had the standard factory supplied 3-point harness webbing and the pilot seat had an after market 4-point harness. The airplane is a high wing design, with the wing mounted above and behind the open cockpit. The engine and pusher propeller are mounted on top of the wing.

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

propeller delamination due to the pilot's failure to properly secure the rear seat shoulder harness prior to flight. A contributing factor was the soft ground in which the airplane landed.

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