NTSB Identification: ATL97LA059.
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Accident occurred Monday, April 14, 1997 in HUNTSVILLE, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 210D, registration: N3761Y
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.

After departing from Redstone Army Airfield, the pilot attempted to level off at 3000 feet. When he did, he experienced difficulties pushing the nose over, which was lessened when nose down trim was applied and power was reduced. As the airplane accelerated, a severe vibration was noted, which was lessened when power was reduced. After trying to pinpoint the problem, the pilot noticed visible damage to the right elevator. A precautionary landing was then executed at the departure airfield. An examination of the elevator revealed a chordwise split and corrosion in the trim tab. There was also a chordwise split in the elevator, that resulted from the oscillation of the trim tab, in flight. Cessna Service Bulletin, SEB92-1, had been issued in January 1992. It recommended that a modification be made to strengthen the trim tab to prevent cracks from forming. The service bulletin recommended that this be accomplished within the next 100 hours of operation or 12 months, whichever occurred first; however, the service bulletin had not been complied with.

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

corrosion and subsequent failure of the elevator trim tab, which resulted in vibration and failure of the elevator. Failure of maintenance personnel to comply with a service bulletin was a related factor.

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