NTSB Identification: SEA97LA218.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 28, 1997 in DIXIE, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N7153Z
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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

The pilot reported that on takeoff, the rudder jammed in the full right position and he was unable to free it. The pilot attempted to pull up to clear trees adjacent to and right of the airstrip, but was unable to clear them. The airplane crashed into the trees. No problems were found with the rudder control in post-accident examination. The pilot stated he believed a canvas briefcase behind the pilot's seat may have moved (or been moved) to one side or the other, possibly creating an obstruction to the rear rudder pedals.

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

Shifting of a briefcase stored behind the pilot's seat to a position where it obstructed movement of the rudder pedals, resulting in loss of directional control capability. A factor was trees adjacent to the airstrip.

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