Guernsey Air Traffic Control notified the accident to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) at 0715 hrs on 23 July 2004 and the investigation began that same day. The following Inspectors participated in the investigation:
Mr J J Barnett (Investigator in Charge)
Mr K Conradi (Operations)
Mr A P Simmons (Engineering)
Shortly after takeoff from Guernsey Airport, a loud crack or bang was heard in the aircraft’s cabin. The aircraft commander was told by a colleague in the cabin that one or more passengers had been injured and that a cabin window was broken. He decided to return to Guernsey Airport having been airborne for approximately four minutes. After the passengers disembarked the pilot noticed that a de-icer boot had separated from the left hand propeller and was now on the seat inside the cabin, adjacent to the broken window.
The investigation identified the following causal factors:
(i) The accident was caused by the separation of a de-icer boot from the left propeller during takeoff.
(ii) The de-icer boot separated due to peel stresses generated by forces on the propeller. The peel stresses arose because of physical or contamination damage to the adhesive bond which occurred because the required filler material was not used at the root of the de-icer boot.
Two Safety Recommendations were made during the course of the investigation.
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