NTSB Identification: LAX95LA240.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 04, 1995 in LONG BEACH, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/29/1996
Aircraft: BELLANCA 7GCBC, registration: N8634
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE TOW SYSTEM ON THE AIRCRAFT CONSISTS OF A SHORT CABLE ATTACHED TO THE TAIL OF THE AIRCRAFT WITH A HOOK ON THE END. THE HOOK IS THEN USED TO SNAG THE BANNER CABLE DURING A PICKUP MANEUVER. PRIOR TO TAKEOFF, THE CABLE IS ROUTED OUTBOARD OF THE RUDDER CONTROL CABLES WHICH ARE ATTACHED TO THE HORN AND SPRINGS OF THE TAIL WHEEL STEERING MECHANISM. THE PILOT THEN HOLDS THE HOOK UNDER TENSION WITH HIS LEFT HAND DURING THE TAKEOFF AND DROPS THE HOOK ONCE AIRBORNE. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT HE LIFTED OFF NORMALLY, DROPPED THE HOOK CABLE, AND THEN HOOKED THE BANNER CABLE NEAR THE END OF RUNWAY 25R. IMMEDIATELY, THE RUDDER WENT TO A FULL RIGHT DEFLECTION AND THE PILOT COULD NOT CORRECT THE RUDDER WITH A PEDAL APPLICATION. THE PILOT MADE TWO RIGHT TURNS NEAR THE AIRPORT BOUNDARY IN AN ATTEMPT TO RETURN TO THE AIRPORT AND SNAGGED THE BANNER ON A FENCE. THE TORN BANNER THEN BECAME UNSTABLE AND SNAGGED ON TREES AT AN ADJACENT GOLF COURSE AND THE AIRCRAFT CRASHED ON THE THIRD FAIRWAY. FRESH CABLE SIGNATURES WERE PRESENT COMPLETELY AROUND THE RUDDER CONTROL HORN AT THE RUDDER CABLE ATTACH POINT.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the inadvertent entanglement of the banner tow cable with the rudder control system, which resulted in a full and uncorrectable deflection of the rudder, and the pilot's inability to control the aircraft.

Full narrative available

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