NTSB Identification: FTW97FA193.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 19, 1997 in WILMOT, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/1998
Aircraft: Pezetel M-18A, registration: N8089Z
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the agricultural aircraft departed from the operator's airstrip on his first flight of the day with a load of dry rice seed. After takeoff, the airplane turned to the right and crashed. A postimpact fire destroyed the airplane. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the elevators were locked. Further examination revealed that the control lock for the left elevator was still installed on the elevator. The control lock was not equipped with a 'remove before flight' flag or streamer. The winds during most of the daylight portion of the day were gusting up to 35 knots.

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

failure of the pilot to remove the elevator control lock before the first flight of the day, which resulted in his inability to control the airplane, due to the locked elevator control. Related factors were: the prevailing high winds and the lack of a visible warning streamer/flag on the elevator control lock.

Full narrative available

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