NTSB Identification: LAX91LA102.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43720.
Accident occurred Sunday, February 17, 1991 in WATSONVILLE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/30/1992
Aircraft: Curtiss-Wright E-4000, registration: N9048
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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 LANDED THE AIRPLANE AND TAXIED OFF THE RUNWAY WHEN SMOKE EMANATED FROM THE LOWER RIGHT FRONT AREA BENEATH THE ELECTRICAL JUNCTION BOX. THE PILOT STOPPED THE AIRPLANE AND HE AND THE PASSENGERS IMMEDIATELY EXITED THE AIRPLANE. MOMENTS LATER FLAMES CONSUMED THE FABRIC COVERED AIRPLANE. EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE DISCLOSED THAT THE STAINLESS STEEL TAILWHEEL ASSY CABLE CONTAINED CONSIDERABLE SLACK WHICH ALLOWED IT TO CONTACT THE ELECTRICAL JUNCTION BOX DURING A TURN. THIS INADEQUATE DESIGN AND ROUTING CAUSED IT TO FUSE AND SHORT THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM. THE SLACK IS NOT NOTICEABLE WHEN THE TAILWHEEL IS NOT TURNED.

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

THE INADEQUATE DESIGN AND LENGTH OF THE TAILWHEEL ASSEMBLY CABLE.

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