SEA06CA094
SEA06CA094

On May 14, 2006, at about 1130 mountain daylight time, an Experimental Amateur Built Avid Flyer Bandit, N157VM, sustained substantial damage during an off airport forced landing near the Sunday Creek Airpark, Miles City, Montana. The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff, approximately 250-feet above ground level (agl), the "reduction gear failed" and he was forced to land on a dirt road near the departure airstrip. During the landing, the airplane encountered tall vegetation and ground-looped resulting in substantial damage.

Post accident inspection of the airplane by a representative from the Federal Aviation Administration and the owner of the aircraft showed that the engine-to-propeller planetary style reduction gear housing was fractured. Further examination revealed that the center drive gear was damaged and heavy smearing was observed to the drive teeth. The reduction gear assembly was identified as a GRD 2000, manufactured by D&D Manufacturing. According to the pilot, D&D manufacturing is no longer in business.

The pilot reported that he was not the aircraft's original owner/builder. He purchased the aircraft in 2001.

The aircraft was powered by a 45-horsepower Cuyuna reciprocating gas engine.

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