NTSB Identification: NYC98LA011.
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Accident occurred Monday, October 13, 1997 in FAIRFIELD, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/28/2000
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS1-26A, registration: N1154N
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.

Before takeoff, the pilot installed the wings and tail on the glider. During the takeoff, just after the glider became airborne, it pitched up vertically. After the tow rope was released the nose dropped, and the glider impacted the ground. Examination of the glider revealed that the control cables were rigged in reverse and the elevator control bell-crank located in the aft end of the fuselage was installed inverted from its normal position. About 8 days prior to the accident an airframe and powerplant mechanic with inspector authorization performed an annual inspection which included a statement, 'AC assembled and rigged.' At that time, the complete elevator assembly was not installed. The pilot completed the elevator installation after the annual inspection. Prior to the flight, the pilot was asked by a witness if he had performed a 'positive control check' of the primary flight controls, which the pilot stated 'yes.'

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

The improper installation of the elevator cables and elevator control bell-crank by the pilot, and an inadequate annual inspection by the mechanic. Also causal was the pilot's inadequate preflight of the flight controls prior to takeoff.

Full narrative available

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