NTSB Identification: CHI93DCD02.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 21, 1993 in ESSEX, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-25, registration: N6453Z
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

THE AIRPLANE WAS ON A SWATH RUN, WHEN THE RIGHT WING BUCKLED, AND THE AIRPLANE ROLLED INTO A DESCENT AND CRASHED. A POST-ACCIDENT EXAMINATION OF THE AIRPLANE REVEALED THAT THE FORWARD SPAR FUSELAGE ATTACHMENT ASSEMBLY FOR THE RIGHT WING HAD FAILED FROM FATIGUE AT THE CLEVIS EARS. ON 9/21/91, THERE WAS A SIMILAR FAILURE OF A PIPER PA-25. ON 5/13/92, THE NTSB MADE AN URGENT RECOMMENDATION TO THE FAA THAT AN AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVE (AD) BE ISSUED FOR PIPER PA-25 AIRPLANES TO BE INSPECTED IMMEDIATELY FOR CORROSION AND CRACKING OF THE CLEVIS EARS; THAT IF SUCH CORROSION OR CRACKING WAS FOUND, REPAIRS BE MADE; AND THAT PERIODIC INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS BE ESTABLISHED TO DETECT CRACKS BEFORE THEY BECOME CRITICAL. ON 7/16/92, THE FAA AGREED WITH THE INTENT OF THE RECOMMENDATION, BUT AS OF THE DATE OF THE ACCIDENT, NO INSPECTION PROCEDURE WAS IN EFFECT.

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

FATIGUE FAILURE OF THE FORWARD SPAR FUSELAGE ATTACHMENT ASSEMBLY FOR THE RIGHT WING. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: THE LACK OF A DIRECTED INSPECTION PROCEDURE THAT COULD HAVE BEEN PROVIDED WITH THE ISSUANCE OF AN AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVE.

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