NTSB Identification: MIA90FA060.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41289.
Accident occurred Saturday, January 20, 1990 in CLEWISTON, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/10/1992
Aircraft: PIPER J-3, registration: N88125
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.

DURING UNK PHASE OF FLT, PLT LOST CONTROL OF THE ACFT. IT DESCENDED WINGS LEVEL, 45 DEG NOSE LOW, IMPACTED TERRAIN, & WAS DESTROYED BY FIRE. EXAM OF ACFT REVEALED THE REAR SEAT (PLT) CONTROL STICK WAS LYING IN THE WRECKAGE. EXAM OF IT REVEALED NO IMPACT DAMAGE NOR WAS THERE EVIDENCE THAT A BOLT & NUT, USED TO SECURE IT, WAS INSTALLED. PLT REPORTEDLY REMOVED THE NUT & BOLT & SANDED THE INSIDE OF THE STICK TO FACILITATE REMOVAL. THE FLIGHT CONTROLS OPERATIONALLY CHECKED GOOD. THE FRONT SEAT CONTROL STICK WAS INSTALLED BUT NOT SECURED. ENG & PROP WERE REMOVED FOR FURTHER EXAM. EXAM OF THE ENG REVEALED VALVE CONTINUITY & COMPRESSION SUFFICIENT TO SUSTAIN ENG OPERATION. FIRE DAMAGED THE MAGS, IGNITION HARNESSES, & CARB. SPARK PLUGS WERE OPERATIONALLY TESTED, ONLY 1 TESTED GOOD. ACFT & ENG LOGBOOKS NOT LOCATED. FUEL QUANTITY WAS SUFFICIENT.

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

FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO SECURE THE FLIGHT CONTROL STICK (INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT) BEFORE TAKEOFF.

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