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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ERA14LA202
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 18, 2014 in Saint Albans, VT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2016
Aircraft: OCONNOR PAUL A ULTIMATE AERO 10-200, registration: N827D
Injuries: 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 commercial pilot was conducting a local personal flight in his experimental amateur-built aerobatic airplane. The pilot reported that, about 10 minutes after takeoff and while climbing to 3,000 ft mean sea level, there was a sudden loud bang/shudder. The canopy then shattered, the engine experienced a total loss of power, and the airplane entered a spin that the pilot could not arrest. The pilot subsequently decided to egress the airplane via parachute. The airplane subsequently struck terrain and was consumed by a postimpact fire.
Examination of the propeller revealed that one of the two propeller blades had separated from the two-bladed, constant-speed propeller's hub. The propeller blade had fractured due to fatigue cracks that initiated from pitch change pin attachment holes that were drilled too deep during manufacture. Subsequent to the accident, the manufacturer recognized that the hole depth varied and instituted quality control measures. At the time of the accident, the propeller had been operated for about 260 hours.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The propeller blade‚Äôs failure due to fatigue cracks that initiated from pitch change pin attachment holes that had been drilled too deep during manufacture.