NTSB Identification: ATL96LA132.
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Accident occurred Thursday, February 22, 1996 in GRIFFIN, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/21/1997
Aircraft: Beech 35, registration: N3134V
Injuries: 2 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.

Flutter of the empennage occurred as the airplane was descending through 8,000 feet at 120 mph. The flutter subsided when the pilot reduced engine power, and he subsequently landed without incident. Examination of the empennage disclosed that the bulkhead at fuselage station (FS) 256.9 exhibited cracks at the four corners of the assembly. Also, buckling of the fuselage skin was noted adjacent to the damaged bulkhead. The ruddervators, which previously had been reskinned, painted, and balanced, were removed from the airframe and balance checked in accordance with the Bonanza 35 Series Shop Manual. The left and right ruddervators exhibited static underbalance moments (trailing edge heavy) of 20.78 and 21.76 inch-pounds, respectively. According to the shop manual, the required static underbalance range is 16.80 to 19.80 inch pounds.

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

failure of maintenance personnel to properly balance the ruddervator assemblies after they had been reskinned and painted, which resulted in flutter and subsequent damage to the empennage.

Full narrative available

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