NTSB Identification: LAX90LA221.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42899.
Accident occurred Saturday, June 16, 1990 in LONG BEACH, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/1993
Aircraft: GRUMMAN G21A, registration: N86640
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

DURING THE 18-MONTH PERIOD PRIOR TO THIS FLIGHT THE ACFT HAD BEEN REBUILT. THIS WAS THE FIRST FLIGHT TO LEAK-CHECK THE HULL BEFORE PAINTING. SEVERAL WATER LANDINGS WERE MADE; THE LAST BEING REFERRED TO BY A WITNESS 'IT HIT THE WATER'. THE PILOT STATED THAT WHILE RETURNING TO LONG BEACH ALL ELEVATOR CONTROL WAS LOST. HE ELECTED TO LAND BACK IN THE WATER, AND FORGOT THE WHEELS WERE DOWN. THE LANDING WAS MADE USING POWER AND ELEV TRIM, AND THE ACFT NOSED OVER NEAR THE SHORELINE. INVESTIGATION REVEALED A DISCOLORED & CORRODED ELEV CONTROL CABLE TURNBUCKLE THAT HAD FAILED DUE TO STRESS CORROSION CRACKING, WITH THE FINAL FAILURE MODE OF TENSILE OVERLOAD. THE PILOT STATED THAT HE HAD NOT MADE A WATER LANDING IN OVER ONE YEAR. ABOUT 2-1/2 HRS AFTER THE OCCURRENCE THE PILOT'S BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL WAS 0.022%.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO RETRACT THE LANDING GEAR RESULTING IN AN INADVERTENT WHEELS-DOWN LANDING IN WATER. IN ADDITION, A LOSS OF ELEVATOR CONTROL WAS ENCOUNTERED DUE TO A STRESS CORROSION FAILURE OF AN ELEVATOR CONTROL CABLE TURNBUCKLE AS A RESULT OF INADEQUATE MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION. FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: A PREVIOUS HARD LANDING AS A RESULT OF AN IMPROPER LEVEL-OFF, AND THE PILOT'S LACK OF RECENT EXPERIENCE IN THE MAKE AND MODEL AIRPLANE.

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