NTSB Identification: DEN00LA003.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 02, 1999 in LAS CRUCES, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-12, registration: N2493M
Injuries: 2 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 said that while on final approach to runway 26, engine power remained too high even though the throttle had been completely retarded. On the second approach, engine power was still too high even with the throttle closed. He initiated a second go around and when the airplane was 50 feet above the ground, the mixture control was slowly moved towards idle cutoff 'to decrease power.' The airplane touched down at high speed. Directional control was lost when the pilot became distracted, and the airplane ground looped to the right. The left wing buckled when it struck the runway, and the side loads tore off the left main landing gear and damaged the right main landing gear. It was later discovered that the clamp securing the throttle sleeve to the throttle housing had come loose, allowing the sleeve (not the cable) to move when the throttle control was operated.

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

The pilot's inadvertent ground loop/swerve during landing. A factor was his attention being diverted by a malfunctioning throttle control.

Full narrative available

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