NTSB Identification: FTW01LA082.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 17, 2001 in Ragley, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2001
Aircraft: Champion 7KCAB, registration: N9017L
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

According to the pilot, after about 15 minutes of flight, the airplane was in a turn and descending slightly, when "the stick suddenly snapped back with no pressure on it." The nose immediately "ducked down" and the pilot "pulled" the trim back to raise the nose while leveling the wings. After leveling off, the pilot started back to his airstrip. On short final, he noticed that he did not have enough time and distance to achieve a steady descent with only trim tabs to control the pitch. After a "go-around", the pilot attempted to set up for a shallow approach. About 75 to 100 feet above the ground on final, the pilot felt "turbulence" and the airplane began descending quickly. The airplane then impacted the ground "pretty hard" breaking the left landing gear, skidding about 40 feet, and coming to rest in an upright position. Examination of the airplane after the accident revealed that the elevator control cable was found liberated from its "Nicopress" fitting. The elevator cable had been replaced with a new cable by the pilot, under the supervision of a A&P mechanic on February 8, 2001. According to the pilot, the new elevator cable was fabricated for him by an aircraft maintenance facility. The airplane was given an annual inspection on March 6, 2001 by the same A&P mechanic who assisted with the elevator cable installation. The last time the airplane flew prior to the accident was on March 8, 2001, when the pilot flew the airplane for about 35 minutes with no anomalies.

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

the loose clamp (Nicopress fitting) on the elevator control cable due to inadequate quality control during the cable's manufacturing, which allowed the cable to disconnect and restricted the pilot's control of the airplane during landing.

Full narrative available

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