Following departure from an en route fuel and rest stop, the pilot reported a propeller problem and returned to the departure airport. The propeller was disassembled to repair what the pilot reported was a failure of the electrical pitch change for the propeller blades. According to witnesses, who saw and talked with the pilot as he worked on the airplane, he (the pilot) was upset over the failure, and he was anxious about hurrying to reach his destination. The pilot, who also held a homebuilt repairman certificate, did not follow the manufacturer’s torquing procedures, which were to be followed after replacement of the propeller. After about an hour of flight, following the repairs, one propeller blade separated from the airplane, and a forced landing ensued. The airplane subsequently hit trees, then collided with the ground, inverted. Postcrash examination of the propeller indicated that a propeller blade had loosened during the flight, and subsequently it failed due to overload forces.
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Posted By: Brett FerrellWednesday November 26th, 1997 at 7:53 PM