January 24, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. / Beech Travel Air


At about 1626 Pacific time, a Beech 95 lost a propeller blade, which resulted in the right engine tearing from its mounts. The airplane then crashed, killing the pilot. Witnesses reported observing the right engine suspended below the right wing and the airplane entering a steep right bank turn until rolling upside down. The flight was a post-maintenance test flight. The airplanes annual had been signed off that day and the flight was the first after the engine and propeller were overhauled. Preliminary inspection of the propeller showed that its fracture surface had a flat section that revealed beach marks, indicative of a fatigue fracture. Also, several corrosion pits were present on the inner bore of the propeller in proximity to the fatigue cracks. The blade has been sent to the NTSBs Materials Laboratory for a complete examination.


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