ATL02LA110
ATL02LA110

On May 25, 2002, at 1500 eastern daylight time, a Blair Kendall, Rans S-12, N257BK, an experimental airplane, owned and operated by the pilot, collided with the ground after takeoff near Lincolnton, Georgia. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was substantially damaged, and the pilot and passenger were seriously injured. The flight departed Lincolnton, Georgia at 1458.

The pilot and passenger participated in an ultra-light fly-in at a private airstrip in Lincolnton. After takeoff, the airplane had a loss of power and could not maintain altitude. The pilot stated he "could not get any lift" during takeoff. During the forced landing, the airplane landed hard resulting in the collapse of the landing gear.

Examination of the airplane showed one of the carbon fiber propeller blades delaminated on the trailing edge. The carbon fiber layers separated at a point several inches outboard from the propeller hub. The engine firewall was buckled, and the front area of the cockpit was deformed. Both wings and the tail boom were damaged. During the post-accident examination of the propeller assembly, there were no visual cues of a previous propeller blade strike.

According to the pilot, he and a friend were looking at the airplane after the accident and noticed that when pressure was applied to the propeller blade it would bend 4-5 inches from the hub area, and would spring back into place when pressure was removed. The pilot stated they could see the propeller blade "coming apart" near the middle.

Examination of the FAA Aircraft Registry records, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, indicated the experimental amateur built airplane was issued an airworthiness certificate on October 22, 1999. The pilot stated that he did not have any airplane or propeller maintenance records. There were only 66 total hours on the airplane and propeller since the airplane was built.


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