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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Weird Accident

My Sig LT-40 had an unusual accident. I made it to the field at about noon today and started practicing touch-and-goes in preparation for next month's Gala FunFly. On one attempt I heard  my prop tip the runway and the LT-40 proceeded at a good clip about twenty feet down the runway. I gunned the throttle to go airborne again and that's when the engine made a terrible roaring noise. It wouldn't throttle back and the whole plane shook apart. Within a few seconds it came to a stop.

When I got to the plane I saw that about 1/2 of one blade was gone. An unbalanced prop had caused the damage. The tail assembly shook completely off and the fuel tank shook itself back into the cabin. My landing prop strike probably weakened the prop. When I throttled up the prop failed and started shaking the whole plane. This separated the throttle linkage which kept it at full throttle, causing more violent shaking. The engine finally shut off when the fuel tank disconnected from the engine and slid back into the cabin.

Lesson learned ... With any kind of a prop strike, one should end the flight and inspect for any damage. Don't take a chance. Fortunately the damages to the LT-40 were relatively minor and nothing that epoxy glue cannot fix. A word of warning, with electrics they will keep running even with a busted prop as long as they are supplied with electric power. Throttle back as soon as you hear a strange noise since you might get your plane into a similar problem. A couple of years ago I had this happen to my electric SmoothE. It tore the forward half of the plane apart when it threw one blade.


1 comment:

  1. Marlowe,
    That was most definitely an odd deal there the way I read the article...who would have thought it would shake the tail off the plane that violently, even though I do understand blade balancing principles....sure did a number on your SIG..If you need anything to repair it let me know.