NTSB Identification: MIA96IA179.
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Incident occurred Tuesday, July 09, 1996 in SAN JUAN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/1998
Aircraft: Short Brothers SD3-60-200, registration: N384MQ
Injuries: 12 Uninjured.

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

The first officer was flying the airplane and after takeoff and flap retraction while manually retrimming the airplane, the elevator control system failed. The flight returned and landed uneventfully. Examination of the elevator control system revealed a failed cable segment between fuselage station 74 in the cockpit to fuselage station 310 in the cabin. The cable failed about midpoint between a 45-degree change in direction. Metallurgical examination of the failed cable revealed it failed due to fatigue and wear. The airplane manufacturer requires the cables to be inspected every 4,800 hours but the airplane operator reduced the time interval to 2,400 hours. The cables were last inspected 2,247.5 hours earlier. The airplane manufacturer requires cable replacement only on condition.

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

Fatigue failure of a segment of the elevator trim control cable. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the airplane manufacturer to require a replacement interval of the cables.

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