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  #1  
Old 09-19-2015, 07:57 AM
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Default WPR14LA046. RV-8. PC issued: 9/8/2015 Non-fatal. Fatigue failure.

NTSB Identification: WPR14LA046
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 02, 2013 in Wickenburg, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/08/2015
Aircraft: ROVEY JASON H RV-8, registration: N391V
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 pilot reported that, during cruise flight, he felt a sustained vibration, which he thought was from the engine or propeller, and that the airplane then started to slow down. The pilot made a forced landing to the desert, and the airplane came to rest on its nose, which caused substantial damage to the airplane. A postaccident engine run and subsequent engine examination revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The propeller examination revealed that one of the propeller pitch change pins had broken. The pinís fracture would have resulted in the sustained vibration and loss of speed reported by the pilot. A metallurgical examination of the pin revealed that it had failed due to a fatigue crack that had progressed through about 70 percent of the pin. The fatigue crack initiated at dimples that had a depth and width consistent with excessive shot peening, which likely occurred during the manufacturing process.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
ēThe fatigue failure of a propeller pitch change pin due to excessive shot peening of the pinís surface during the manufacturing process.

Full Narrative:
NTSB Identification: WPR14LA046
HISTORY OF FLIGHT
On November 2, 2013, at 1141 mountain standard time, an experimental Rovey Vans RV-8 airplane, N391V, made a forced landing following an engine vibration and partial loss of engine power near Wickenburg, Arizona. The owner/builder/pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane sustained structural damage to the left wing and firewall. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from the Wickenburg Municipal Airport (E25), Wickenburg, about 1100 the day of the accident.

According to the pilot, he was a participant in a Sport Air Race League cross-country, in which participants raced against the clock. It was a 130-mile course, which departed from, and concluded at, Wickenburg Municipal Airport. The pilot stated that he was about 13 miles west of E25 at 1,200 feet agl, at maximum power and rpm, when he felt an immediate and sustained vibration, which he thought was from the engine or propeller. He radioed a mayday and stated that the airplane started to slow down. He was not able to land on United States (US) highway 60, in either direction, due to traffic. The pilot stated that he turned for Forepaugh Peak Road to make the forced landing. About 150 feet agl, he realized the airplane would not glide far enough to reach the road, and landed the airplane on the desert floor. After traveling through desert vegetation/brush, the airplane came to a stop in a nose down attitude.

The pilot reported that following the forced landing, he borrowed a club propeller and bolted it to his engine. He performed a ground run of the engine with no mechanical problems encountered. The engine was disassembled at a repair station in order to perform the propeller strike inspection, followed by an engine rebuild; there were no mechanical anomalies encountered.

The propeller hub was removed and examined at Ottoeson, Phoenix, Arizona, under the auspices of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. According to the FAA inspector, there was evidence at the hub of loading on the propeller at impact. He further reported that the propeller pins do not normally break off in accidents involving propeller strikes; however, the accident propeller pin had broken. According to engine performance downloads, it appeared that the propeller pin broke during flight.

TESTS AND RESEARCH
The propeller blades, hub case, and hub bearings were shipped to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) metallurgical laboratory in Washington, D.C., for further examination. The hub had been disassembled prior to arrival at the metallurgical laboratory. The bearing and hub surfaces were generally in good condition with no abnormal signs of wear or pre impact damage. The propeller blades exhibited gouging and scratches along the longitudinal axis of the blade, with the blade tips damaged, primarily on the leading edges. According to the specialist, the witness marks were consistent with ground impact damage. One of the pitch change pins had fractured from the hub face, along the bend radius where the face and pin mate.

According to the specialist, the pin fracture surface had been damaged by smearing; however, the mating side fracture surface on the hub face was generally undamaged. The crack arrest and ratchet marks indicated progressive cracking, about 70 percent of the fracture surface. The specialist reported that the fatigue crack initiation site had multiple surface crack initiation sites. The surfaces of both the pin and the hub exhibited a dimpled pockmarked texture consistent with shot peening. The primary fatigue crack initiation site corresponded to a surface depression. A chemical composition was performed using the energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF), as well as hardness testing; there were discrepancies with the chemical or material composition. A detailed report is attached to the docket for this accident.

http://ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviati...no=5&pgsize=50
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:37 AM
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No mention of what kind of prop? Is that normal?
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:59 PM
jrovey jrovey is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowflake View Post
No mention of what kind of prop? Is that normal?
It was a Hartzell Aluminum Blended Airfoil prop and it is not supposed to fail like it did. After two years down for airframe repairs, engine rebuild and more drag reduction mods since it was apart I am running with the Hartzell Composite prop and like it.
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2015, 12:07 AM
jrovey jrovey is offline
 
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Default NTSB Docket data

The report summary tells the story but the photos, data and lab report is worth looking at. This information can be viewed here.

http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/hi...5270F6584F6AFF
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2015, 08:27 AM
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Default So now what?

Excuse my possible ignorance here, but what happens now?
Does Hartzell review internal processes to capture possible bad product?

Does Hartzell notify customers that possible discrepancies occurred during the manufacturing of their propeller?

And what about the 'discrepant' chemical composition (I assume of the propeller base material)?
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Old 09-24-2015, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrovey View Post
The report summary tells the story but the photos, data and lab report is worth looking at. This information can be viewed here.

http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/hi...5270F6584F6AFF
The "Mayday Flight Engine Data" shows prolonged operation above RPM redline. The owner's manual for my BA Hartzell says that more than 3 minutes above 103% RPM "requires evaluation by an appropriately licensed propellor repair facility". 103% equates to 2781 RPM and there are numerous sample points beyond this value.

Not sure any conclusions can be drawn from this other than the prop was being operated outside of the manufacturer's limitations.

Great question about what's next - not sure what Hartzell would say (if anything) but I'm certainly interested in what comes next as well.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:51 AM
RVDan RVDan is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefPilot View Post
The "Mayday Flight Engine Data" shows prolonged operation above RPM redline. The owner's manual for my BA Hartzell says that more than 3 minutes above 103% RPM "requires evaluation by an appropriately licensed propellor repair facility". 103% equates to 2781 RPM and there are numerous sample points beyond this value.

Not sure any conclusions can be drawn from this other than the prop was being operated outside of the manufacturer's limitations.

Great question about what's next - not sure what Hartzell would say (if anything) but I'm certainly interested in what comes next as well.
In looking at the data, the Hartzell limitation on this P/N prop is 2700 RPM as reflected in the Hartzell datasheet. That coincides with the Type Data Sheet under the fAA certification. It is also interesting to note the MAP limit for the 200 HP version of the IO-360, but that doesn't apply in this case. The normal engine operation data shows operation, although limited in duration, that is over the 2700 RPM limit. The Mayday data shows and extended period of operation over the 2700RPM limit. That assumes that the engine tach was accurate. The peak vibrational stresses can occur somewhat sharply as related to RPM, so the operation we see at 2750 and above could represent high fatigue stresses. The data shows that the prop was operated outside its proven design. That may have contributed, at least at some level to the failure.
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2015, 12:28 PM
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Default Wow this is disturbing.

I was considering the purchase of the Sensenich adjustable prop for my O-320-B2C Lycoming but I sure dont want it falling off. Maybe a fixed pitch aluminum will be my choice.

Anyone out there flying the Sensinich? How do you feel about this HArtzell failure?

Dave
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2015, 01:30 PM
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I'm not concerned (yet) about Hartzell props; too many unknowns to make any type of decision.

I'm about to order the finishing kit and have been looking for an engine/prop for about a year. I would not at this time discount a Hartzell prop. Modern aerospace companies are required (by the Gov and Customers) to have robust corrective action processes. So I would assume that Hartzell is currently in the process of root cause analysis and then will implement a corrective action. What impact that will have on units in the field is pure speculation at this time.
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Old 09-24-2015, 02:52 PM
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Default True Dan

So True Dan, just a little surprised. I was concerned about the idea of adjustable pitch prop from the beginning and this was a little spooky.

Dave
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