wags Posted September 1, 2008 Share Posted September 1, 2008 On Sunday 31st August a Czech Airworks "Sportcruiser" was conducting circuits at Gympie Airfield with the aircraft's new owner and an instructor onboard. Slight vibration was felt throughout the aircraft during initial climbout and x-wind legs of a circuit. The instructor reduced power somewhat but approx 30 secs later a very loud "explosion" occurred and the engine came to an abrupt stop. A short stub of one blade of the 2 blade Woodcomp inflight adjustable propeller was visible protruding over the cowling. The aircraft subsequently carried out an emergency landing back onto the airfield without further incident. The occupants suffered no injury other than to their nerves. The aircraft was virtually new (50 hrs or less?) and had not exhibited any previous propeller problems that I am aware of. What remains of the prop stub displays what looks like water seepage (or similar) has occurred between the wood laminations of the blade, but this fact will need to be confirmed by investigators. The engine has obviously "twisted" on its mounts with at least two mounts showing indications of significant distortion. The engine exhaust stub had moved approx 100 mm or more and impacted the nose wheel mount with sufficient force to dent the exhaust pipe itself. Both carbies of the Rotax 912 had disconnected themselves from the intake manifold and no doubt aided in stopping the engine before further damage occurred. The strength of the airframe no doubt contributed to a safe outcome for the occupants of the aircraft. The outcome of an investigation into this incident will be interesting to read as this would appear to be a catastrophic failure of what could be considered as a brand new propeller. It will almost certainly require replacement of everything from and including the firewall forward. I for one will take more than a precursory look at the blades of my prop during any preflight from now on looking for signs of any tell-tale hairline cracks or indications of delamination starting to occur, especially around the hub area. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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