National Transportation Safety Board
Aviation Accident Final Report

 

 

Location:

ONTARIO, CA

Accident Number:

LAX89FA314

Date & Time:

09/15/1989, 0652 PDT

Registration:

N70PE

Aircraft:

PIPER PA-31-350

Aircraft Damage:

Destroyed

Defining Event:

 

Injuries:

1 Fatal

Flight Conducted Under:

Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled

Analysis

THE PROPELLER SEPARATED FROM THE RIGHT ENGINE DURING THE INITIAL CLIMB. EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE REVEALED THE PROPELLER HUB FRACTURE RESULTED IN ONE OF THE THREE PROPELLER BLADES DETACHING FROM THE HUB. THE REST OF THE PROPELLER HUB THEN SEPARATED STRIKING THE RIGHT FRONT OF THE FUSELAGE. OIL WAS SPREAD ACROSS THE AIRCRAFT NOSE AND WINDSHEILD. THE FUSELAGE RIGHT SIDE DAMAGE INCREASED AERODYNAMIC DRAG. WITNESSES REPORTED THE ENGINE COWLING WAS TORN. THE AIRCRAFT ENTERED A RIGHT TURN AND DIVE. IT IMPACTED THE GROUND IN A NEAR INVERTED ATTITUDE. METALLURGICAL EXAMINATION OF THE FAILED PROP HUB REVEALED METAL FATIGUE EMANATING FROM THE THREADED HOLE FOR THE GREASE FITTING. THE THREADS HAD BEEN DEFORMED BY SHOT PEENING, RESULTING IN INCREASED STRESS CONCENTRATIONS AT THE THREADS.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
FAILURE OF THE RIGHT PROPELLER HUB DUE TO METAL FATIGUE WHICH RESULTED IN CATASTROPHIC SEPARATION OF THE PROPELLER. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS DAMAGE DONE TO THE AIRCRAFT AIRFRAME IN FLIGHT BY THE SEPARATING PROPELLER MAKING THE AIRCRAFT UNCONTROLLABLE.

Findings

 

Occurrence #1: AIRFRAME/COMPONENT/SYSTEM FAILURE/MALFUNCTION
Phase of Operation: TAKEOFF - INITIAL CLIMB

Findings
1. (C) PROPELLER SYSTEM/ACCESSORIES,HUB - FATIGUE
2. (C) PROPELLER SYSTEM/ACCESSORIES,HUB - FRACTURED
3. (F) PROPELLER SYSTEM/ACCESSORIES - SEPARATION
4. MAINTENANCE,OVERHAUL - IMPROPER - OTHER MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL
----------

Occurrence #2: ALTITUDE DEVIATION,UNCONTROLLED
Phase of Operation: DESCENT - EMERGENCY

Findings
5. REMEDIAL ACTION - ATTEMPTED - PILOT IN COMMAND
6. AIRCRAFT CONTROL - NOT POSSIBLE - PILOT IN COMMAND
----------

Occurrence #3: IN FLIGHT COLLISION WITH TERRAIN/WATER
Phase of Operation: DESCENT - UNCONTROLLED

 

Factual Information

 

 

 

 

Pilot Information

Certificate:

Flight Instructor; Commercial

Age:

24

Airplane Rating(s):

Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land

Seat Occupied:

Left

Other Aircraft Rating(s):

None

Restraint Used:

Seatbelt

Instrument Rating(s):

Airplane

Second Pilot Present:

No

Instructor Rating(s):

Airplane Single-engine

Toxicology Performed:

Yes

Medical Certification:

Class 1 Valid Medical--w/ waivers/lim.

Last FAA Medical Exam:

03/16/1989

Occupational Pilot:

 

Last Flight Review or Equivalent:

 

Flight Time:

1916 hours (Total, all aircraft), 89 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 49 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

 

 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:

PIPER

Registration:

N70PE

Model/Series:

PA-31-350 PA-31-350

Aircraft Category:

Airplane

Year of Manufacture:

 

Amateur Built:

No

Airworthiness Certificate:

Normal

Serial Number:

31-805 2137

Landing Gear Type:

Retractable - Tricycle

Seats:

8

Date/Type of Last Inspection:

08/22/1989, AAIP

Certified Max Gross Wt.:

7000 lbs

Time Since Last Inspection:

39 Hours

Engines:

2 Reciprocating

Airframe Total Time:

3118 Hours

Engine Manufacturer:

LYCOMING

ELT:

Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident

Engine Model/Series:

TIO-540-J2BD

Registered Owner:

JACK WALL AIRCRAFT SALES INC.

Rated Power:

350 hp

Operator:

AMERIFLIGHT

Operating Certificate(s) Held:

On-demand Air Taxi (135)

Operator Does Business As:

 

Operator Designator Code:

JIKA

 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:

Visual Conditions

Condition of Light:

Day

Observation Facility, Elevation:

ONT, 943 ft msl

Distance from Accident Site:

2 Nautical Miles

Observation Time:

0650 PDT

Direction from Accident Site:

142°

Lowest Cloud Condition:

Scattered / 200 ft agl

Visibility

7 Miles

Lowest Ceiling:

None / 0 ft agl

Visibility (RVR):

0 ft

Wind Speed/Gusts:

Calm /

Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:

/

Wind Direction:

 

Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:

/

Altimeter Setting:

29 inches Hg

Temperature/Dew Point:

21°C / 7°C

Precipitation and Obscuration:

 

Departure Point:

ONTARIO, CA (ONT)

Type of Flight Plan Filed:

VFR

Destination:

SANTA BARBARA, CA (SBA)

Type of Clearance:

VFR

Departure Time:

0650 PDT

Type of Airspace:

Class D

 

Airport Information

Airport:

ONTARIO INT'L (ONT)

Runway Surface Type:

 

Airport Elevation:

943 ft

Runway Surface Condition:

 

Runway Used:

0R

IFR Approach:

None

Runway Length/Width:

 

VFR Approach/Landing:

None

 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries:

1 Fatal

Aircraft Damage:

Destroyed

Passenger Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Fire:

On-Ground

Ground Injuries:

N/A

Aircraft Explosion:

None

Total Injuries:

1 Fatal

Latitude, Longitude:

 

 


 


Administrative Information

Investigator In Charge (IIC):

THOMAS     H WILCOX

Report Date:

09/09/1992

Additional Participating Persons:

JAMES R GREEN; RIVERSIDE, CA

Publish Date:

 

Investigation Docket:

NTSB accident and incident dockets serve as permanent archival information for the NTSB’s investigations. Dockets released prior to June 1, 2009 are publicly available from the NTSB’s Record Management Division at pubinq@ntsb.gov, or at 800-877-6799. Dockets released after this date are available at http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/.