NTSB Identification: FTW92FA165.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46681.
Accident occurred Saturday, June 20, 1992 in ADDISON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1993
Aircraft: PIPER J3C-65, registration: N3128M
Injuries: 2 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 ENGINE HAD JUST COMPLETED MAJOR WORK AND THE AIRPLANE HAD BEEN RELEASED FOR AN ENGINE GROUND TEST RUN; THE AIRPLANE HAD NOT BEEN RETURNED TO SERVICE OR RELEASED FOR FLIGHT. APRX 1 MINUTE AFTER TAKEOFF THE PILOT REPORTED HE NEEDED TO RETURN FOR LANDING, AND WAS CLEARED FOR RIGHT TRAFFIC RWY 33. ABOUT 2 MIN LATER THE PILOT REQUESTED TO TURN BASE LEG, AND SHORTLY THEREAFTER THE AIRPLANE WAS OBSERVED TO ROLL OVER AND IMPACT INVERTED. THE LEFT ELEVATOR HORIZONTAL TUBE WHICH EXTENDS OUTBOARD FROM THE BELLCRANK HAD FAILED. CORROSION PARTICLES WERE REMOVED FROM INSIDE THE TUBE. TUBE THICKNESS OUTBOARD OF THE CORROSION AREA MEASURED 0.035 INCH. THE DIRECTOR OF MAINTENANCE STATED THAT THE AIRPLANE WAS DUE AND SCHEDULED FOR THE ANNUAL INSPECTION PRIOR TO RELEASING THE AIRPLANE FOR FLIGHT TESTING.

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

FAILURE OF THE LEFT ELEVATOR ASSEMBLY DUE TO CORROSION.

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