Manufacturer of Fine Airplane Propellers

Aeromatic Automatic Variable Pitch

Flottorp Fixed pitch wood and (Beech Roby) Mechanical Variable Pitch

Fallon Municipal Airport

Hangar C-4

1500 Rio Vista Dr.

Fallon, NV 89406

Phone 775-423-0378 MMM Kent Tarver Owner MMM

E-mail Note: My e-mail address.
Written is reverse order.


This is a FAA approved Service Bulletin and replaces SB 2000-001



24 January 2003


1500 Rio Vista Dr.

Hangar C-4

Fallon, NV.

This Service Bulletin replaces Service Bulletin 2000-001 dated July 21, 2000

Propeller Blade Inspection

  1. Background:

There is concern that a potential problem may exist in propeller blades of the models listed below. Many of these propellers have a manufacturing date as early as 1946. The concern stems from the obvious possibility that there can be detectable deterioration of the blade retention system due to moisture intrusion or vibration. Neither of these problems are specific to older propellers. Obviously the older the propeller the more opportunity for these condition to exist. The track record of these propeller blades, during the past years since 1946 indicate clearly that there is no unusual problem that has surfaced which would require drastic or emergency action. There is however, a better way to verify the airworthiness of these propeller blades. Past inspection criteria is in need of being updated, specifically in the shank retention area. This service bulletin addresses that need. FAR 35.35 specifically states that a propeller shall have a blade retention safety factor of two. The retention system for these propeller blades have been tested and verified to have a safety factor of 4.2. Thus it appears that this is the strongest "link in the chain". This does not imply that it should be neglected.

Moisture Intrusion. These laminated wood propeller blades were assembled using a wood preservative. The material is a proprietary liquid by the name Nelsonite. Deterioration of the wood in these propellers is very rare. The Tarver Propeller company has found rusted retention screws in these blade yet had no wood decay. Some of the suspected wood was analyzed by the Forest Products Laboratory, a branch of the U. S. Agriculture Department, and was found to have no decay even though it was stained by iron oxide.

Vibration. Vibration, whether caused by an unbalanced propeller or engine is a matter that must be corrected. Vibration causes resonate nodes at various frequencies that are harmonically related to engine/propeller rpm which in turn can be aggravated by the dynamic loads on the propeller. This condition causes excessive stress on the blade retention system as well as the hub and of course the engine. Static balance of a propeller is valid. If the propellers is properly statically balanced, engine unbalance, if it exists, should be corrected, but not be unbalancing the propeller.

B. Requirements:

There are essentially two requirements addressed by this Service Bulletin. First is the need to bring a propeller, which is in an unknown condition of airworthiness, into a known condition of airworthiness. Second is the need for a more reliable inspection criteria.

Airworthiness Condition. Clearly there are situations in the field, for various reasons, where the owner/operator does not know the airworthiness condition of his propeller. An operator should not continue using a propeller that is in an unknown condition. After compliance with this service bulletin the owner/operator will have a propeller who's condition is established.

Inspection Criteria. In the past, the inspection criteria for the blade retention system consisted of verifying that each of the lag screws in the shank will accept 150 in/lb of torque without breaking or stripping the threads in the wood. Passing this test does not entirely verify the integrity of the screw. The Tarver Propeller company has found that a screw that passes this torque test can have enough rust on the threads that makes the part unairworthy. Many screws have been held in place so tight with rust that it is impossible to back out the screw without twisting it in two. Therefore a more thorough inspection method is detailed below which eliminates this ambiguity.


B. Effectivity:

This service bulletin is applicable to all Aeromatic propellers models F200, F200-H, 220, 220-1, 220H, all Flottorp (formerly Beech Roby) propellers models R100, R002, R003, all Beech Propellers models B200-100 (fitted with Flottorp blades FA200-244 and FA200-245), R201-100, R202-100, and R203-100 (fitted with Flottorp blades FA200-218, FA200-219 and FA200-220). The Aeromatic models listed above were originally manufactured by Koppers, then Unvair, then South 80, then Brown Propellers, LTD. The Beech models listed above were manufactured originally by Beech Aircraft Company, then Flottorp Manufacturing Company and Brown Propellers, LTD. Tarver Propellers, LLC is now the TC holder of the above model propellers and blades.

C. Compliance Requirements:

If the owner/operator has one of the above propellers which is in an unknown condition, then Tarver Propellers, LLC considers compliance with this service bulletin to be mandatory prior to putting it into service or continuing service beyond the times listed below.

D. Description:

This Service Bulletin provides information for visual inspection of all the above wood propeller blades for unsafe condition due to corroded lag screws and decay (dry rot) of the wood at the blade leading edge and at the interface of the blade and ferrule.

  1. Instructions:

For those propellers that are judged to be in need of this inspection, the following shall be performed:

Part I. Initial Inspection for Blade Looseness between the Blade Shank and Metal Ferrule.

1) Prior to further flight, visually inspect each propeller blade for mounting security by pushing and pulling (with as much force that a man can apply with one hand on the tip) of the blade in a fore and aft motion. While exerting these forces, play can be detected by placing your thumb at the point where the wood blade enters the ferrule. Perform this inspection on both blades. If any motion is detected the propeller is sure to have broken lag screws and/or dry rot. Further flight is considered by Tarver Propellers, LLC to be unacceptable and should be grounded.

  1. This test shall be performed before each flight. If no looseness (play) is detected, the airplane may continue operation until compliance to Part II of this Service Bulletin.


  2. If any looseness (play) is detected the propeller may, depending on it's condition, be made airworthy by performing, by an FAA approved repair station, the following inspection and repairs.
    1. The blades must be removed from the hub and inspected for broken, missing or the presence of unapproved lag screws.
    2. Each lag screw shall be removed and inspected for corrosion and meet the dimensions on the drawing applicable to the screw part number. See note 1.
    3. The ferrule shall be removed from the blade in order to gain unobstructed access to the wood for inspection. The ferrule may be reconditioned as necessary and reused.

      See note 2.

    4. The blade shank perimeter, screw holes and balance weight holes shall be inspected for wood decay, cracks or delaminating. See note 3.
    5. The ferrule shall be reinstalled on the shank in the same clock position as it was prior to removal. See note 4.
    6. If the propeller blade is finished with plastic coating, the interface where the ferrule meets the coating shall be sealed using spot putty or plastic patch or a combination of both depending on how much area has to be covered.
    7. If the blade doesn't have plastic coating, then spot putty may be used to reseal the area. The lag screws shall be reinstalled and torqued before the seal has dried.
    8. The lag screws shall be dipped in Nelsonite, installed into a screw hole and torqued to 150 in/lb in addition to running torque. See note 5.
    9. The metal leading edge/tipping shall be inspected in accordance with Service


Note 1. All lag screws shall be removed using reverse torque. If the screw breaks during reverse torque it is a virtual certain sign of excessive corrosion. A blade may be returned to service with no more than 2 missing or broken lag screws in the outer circle. Broken or missing screws shall not be adjacent to each other except within the inner circle. All the rest of the screws shall meet the dimensions on the drawing and meet the installation criteria of Part I, 3) h.. Lag screws that are to be installed shall bear no signs of rust.

Note 2. The ferrule may be cleaned of surface corrosion and corrosion proofed either by cad plating, per applicable drawing or zinc chromate primer. Deep corrosion pits anywhere on the ferrule is criteria for rejection.

Note 3. Inspect the wood using a sharp tool that can be used to probe the wood in various places in and around the exposed shank. The screw hole threads shall be inspected for damage with a borescope. Look for any visible cracks in the wood in the screw holes and any obvious gross damage to the threads. Small cracks in no more than 3 screw holes and if, later, the screw will meet the torque requirements of Part I, 3) h, then this is not criteria for rejection of the blade. Cracks that connect two or more screw holes is cause for rejection of the blade. Most blades contain some amount of lead wool in the center balance hole. This lead may cause a whitish stain near the lead and is not criteria for rejection unless the wood is found to be soft using the sharp probe. Various degrees of brown stain will virtually always be present on the wood and is not the deciding criteria for rejection of the blade. Soft spots in the wood is criteria for rejection.

Note 4. The ferrule will have a small hole drilled in the side wall and a matching hole will be found in the shank of the blade. Be sure that these holes match up when reinstalling the ferrule.

Note 5. The ferrule shall be reassembled onto the blade shank. Screws of the same length as was removed shall be used to reinstall the ferrule. After all screws have seated against the ferrule, all of them shall be re-torqued at least three times. This assures a uniform strain among the screws. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Part II. Repetitive Inspections The inspection detailed in Part I shall be performed any time the condition of the propeller blades becomes unknown or when any looseness of a blade is detected as detailed in Part I "Prior to Further Flight".


Summary: This inspection requires that the propeller be disassembled, reassembled, check for blade angles, balanced, pressure check the hub, and add lubricant. The estimated time to perform this, assuming no repairs or part are required, is 8 to 12 hours.

This bulletin may be complied with by an appropriately rated propeller repair station or by Tarver Propellers, LLC.


Telephone and FAX 775-423-0378