NTSB Identification: LAX00LA155.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 15, 2000 in WILLOWS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2003
Aircraft: Smith RV-4, registration: N63SM
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that he lost elevator control while in cruise flight. He was attempting to land at an airport on a runway he was nearly aligned with. Using the manipulation of aircraft trim and throttle as a means of controlling the aircraft's pitch attitude, he tried to gain altitude by trimming the airplane in the full aft position, but found the elevator to be jammed. The pilot reduced the throttle and mixture and landed in a field. The airplane came to rest in an upright position. An FAA inspector examined the airplane following recovery and reported that control rod was improperly installed, allowing the rear jam nut on the elevator push rod to work loose. The push rod then rotated off the forward connection.

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

Disconnection of the elevator push rod due to the owner/builder's improper installation of the rear jam nut on the elevator pushrod.

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