NTSB Identification: CHI07LA167.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 07, 2007 in New Smyrna Beac, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2008
Aircraft: Piper PA-34-200, registration: N15156
Injuries: 2 Minor,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 certified flight instructor (CFI) reported that they were about to practice an engine failure at 6,000 feet mean sea level (msl). Upon shutting off fuel with the right fuel selector valve, a propeller blade separated from the right engine, and an unknown part penetrated the windshield. The CFI reported that the right engine "came almost completely apart and off in a matter of two seconds." The right engine was canted and hanging down, and altitude could not be maintained. The CFI maintained sufficient airspeed to maintain control during the descent, but he elected to do a forced landing to a field as a result of the loss of altitude. The airplane impacted the side of a creek during the forced landing, and ended right side up in about three feet of water in a creek. The Hartzell two bladed propeller hub and other components from the propeller assembly were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) Materials Laboratory for examination. The hub from the right engine of the airplane was a left hand rotating (counterclockwise viewed from the rear) propeller. The inspection revealed that the hub was fractured around the socket for blade #1 (designated by serial number location) through both the forward and aft halves of the hub. The fracture surface contained features consistent with fatigue crack progression generally away from the grease fitting hole. The entire fatigue region measured about 3.1 inches in length from the grease fitting hole to near the forward centerline of the blade socket. On September 17, 2007, Hartzell Propeller Inc., issued an Alert Service Bulletin "HC-1SB-61-297, Propeller Hub Inspection." The bulletin stated in part: (1) There was a recent blade separation event originating in the lubrication hole located on the shoulder of the hub blade socket installed in a "left-hand" rotating propeller. (2) This Alert Service Bulletin introduces an initial and repetitive eddy current inspection of the area around the lubrication holes on "left-hand" rotating propellers on certain aircraft models.

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

The propeller blade separation from the propeller hub due to a fatigue fracture of the hub while in cruise flight. A factor was the embankment.

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