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Propeller falls off New Zealand plane

Posted by te2ataria on July 7, 2009

sent by a reader

The propeller blade spun off, struck the fuselage, tore thru the side, and fell to the ground

Great Barrier flight loses propeller blade

Hauraki Gulf commuters got the shock of their lives on Sunday when a propeller spun off their small plane and dropped to the ground.

The three-engine Britten-Norman Trilander, with 11 passengers and pilot Sean Deeney, had just taken off from Claris Airport on Great Barrier Island bound for Auckland when the incident happened.

The propeller blade spun off and struck the fuselage, “sending aluminium shards into the cabin, then fell to the ground.”

new zealand prop falls off the engine
A passenger’s photographs show the damage done when a propeller came off New Zealand’s Great Barrier Airlines aircraft’s engine in mid-flight. Photo / Supplied

The pilot shut the engine down and returned to Claris Airport.

It was a “normal approach and landing” on two of the three engines and the plane taxied back to the terminal, he said. [Presumably, the third engine is really an accessory, and is not needed.]

Great Barrier Islands Airways operations manager Mike Maguire said passengers were not at risk but had been concerned.

How could passengers be at risk when something like a clumsy propeller spins off, hits the fuselage, tears through the side of the plane and then falls to the ground?

“Any time you are in flight and something goes wrong there is reason to be concerned,” he told the Dominion Post.

“He did an exceptional job getting the plane on to the ground,” Mr Maguire said.

Say, what caused the propeller to fall off?

He would not comment on what may have caused the accident.

Meanwhile, the hunt is on to find the propeller in swampy ground near Claris as the Traffic Accident Investigation Commission investigates what went wrong.

Happy propeller-hunting, folks! Would you like to take a few Easter eggs along to the swamp to save the hunters from boredom?

An Eye-Witness Account of a “six-minute nightmare …”

“The impact of the propeller, which came from the engine on the right wing, was terrifying.”

[At least one female passenger is known to have defecated in her pants.]

Passengers said the palne engine was wobbling during takeoff. [Clearly the pilot was used to that standard of maintenance.]

“It was like an explosion going off inside the plane,” a passenger told the Herald.

“The propeller came off and hit the side of the plane …

“Both propeller blades came off – the whole thing just destroyed itself. It just completely self-destructed.

“A door got ripped off and the side of the plane got smashed in – we all got covered in glass.

“There was a huge amount of debris that we were just covered in. There were chunks the size of golfballs that came back and hit you.”

“It was just lucky there was one seat spare – that was where it hit and pushed the side of the aircraft in.

“If someone had been sitting there they would have been injured quite severely.

“The guy I was sitting beside, he had the initiative to grab his camera out, but he was shaking so much he had some trouble taking pictures so I did it.”

“Two passengers needed medical treatment to remove debris from their eyes, and the man decided to catch a ferry back to Auckland rather than fly.” Herald reported.

“It appears to me there was a problem there with it or whether the problem had been created by the work carried out on who knows, but it just seems a coincidence that an engine they were working on explodes two days later.” A passenger said.

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2 Responses to “Propeller falls off New Zealand plane”

  1. XTC said

    It was held on with No 8 baling wire, you know. Wobbling during takeoff, and the pilot couldn’t be stuffed landing again for a safety check?

  2. […] Propeller falls off New Zealand plane […]

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