NTSB Identification: NYC91FA120.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44005.
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 23, 1991 in NEWBURY, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1993
Aircraft: PIPER J5A, registration: N35826
Injuries: 1 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.

WITNESSES SAID THAT AS SOON AS THE AIRPLANE BECAME AIRBORNE, IT STARTED A STEEPLY BANKED LEFT TURN AND DESCENDED INTO A TREE AND STRUCK THE GROUND. AN EXAMINATION OF THE FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM REVEALED A BROKEN RIGHT AILERON BRACKET AND A TEAR IN THE SHEET METAL AFT OF THIS BRACKET. A METALLURGICAL EXAMINATION REVEALED THAT THIS DAMAGE OCCURRED PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT. THE AIRPLANE ANNUAL INSPECTION WAS OVERDUE BY ONE MONTH. THE PIPER SERVICE MANUAL AND BULLETINS RECOMMENDED REGULAR INSPECTION OF THIS BELLCRANK ASSEMBLY. TWO DAYS PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT, A FRIEND OF THE PILOT'S AND A PRIVATE PILOT HIMSELF, SAW THE RIGHT AILERON OF N35826 FLAPPING UP AND DOWN DURING A WIND/RAIN STORM. THE LEFT AILERON WAS STREAMLINED. ED HATT, A RESTORER OF J5A'S, SAID IN HIS REPORT, 'IT IS MY OPINION...THAT THE NUT...'HUNG' ON THE TORN TAILING EDGE...JAMMING THE AILERON BELLCRANK AND CAUSING A LOSS OF AILERON CONTROL.'

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

THE LOSS OF INFLIGHT CONTROL, WHICH WAS THE RESULT OF A JAMMED RIGHT AILERON BELLCRANK ASSEMBLY. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE; THE IMPROPER MAINTENANCE OF THE FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEM, AND THE INCOMPLETE PREFLIGHT BY THE PILOT.

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