International Federation of Airworthiness. Promoting AirworthinessInternationalImpartial
International Federation of Airworthiness. Promoting AirworthinessInternationalImpartial

AAIB Report: VA-1X, G-EVTL, on 9 August 2023

Home Articles AAIB Report: VA-1X, G-EVTL, on 9 August 2023

AAIB Report: VA-1X, G-EVTL, on 9 August 2023

Report into an accident involving an VA-1X (G-EVTL), which suffered a forced landing following power unit failure, Cotswold Airport (Kemble), Gloucestershire on 9 August 2023

The aircraft was being flown by a remote pilot on a test flight at 30 ft agl when a propeller blade detached from the electric propulsion unit 3 forward motor due to a failure of the adhesive bond between the propeller blade sheath and spar. Large out-of-balance loads generated by the blade release caused structural failure of the right inboard pylon, resulting in damage to the aircraft’s wiring harnesses. This caused a loss of thrust from motors 4 and 7. Whilst the aircraft’s flight control system was able to maintain a level attitude, the high rate of descent caused by the loss of vertical thrust resulted in substantial damage to the aircraft when it struck the ground.

The aircraft manufacturer was, at the time of the accident, in the process of introducing a blade design that, amongst other things, eliminated the bonding failure mode that caused the blade release. The manufacturer’s investigation identified 36 product and process improvements resulting from findings of the investigation.

 

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