NTSB Identification: FTW97LA237.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 26, 1997 in FORT COLLINS, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/02/1998
Aircraft: Rans S-12 Airaile S-12, registration: N2117X
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

Following takeoff on his first solo flight in the aircraft, the nose of the aircraft continued to rise and the pilot could not lower the nose with full nose down elevator application. In addition, according to the pilot, the aircraft was right wing heavy. The owner of the aircraft could not provide specific performance or weight and balance information, but stated the center of gravity tended to be 'somewhat' forward with lighter weight in the cockpit. The owner was approximately 30 to 40 pounds heavier than the pilot. In addition, following the accident, examination provided evidence that the right lift strut support cable was not connected at the upper fitting and exhibited no evidence of impact damage.

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

Attempt by the pilot to fly the aircraft with the center of gravity out of limits. A factor was a disconnected lift strut support cable.

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