NTSB Identification: ATL02FA101.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 17, 2002 in Olar, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Luscombe LL-8-E, registration: N71344
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.

Witnesses who observed the accident stated that the airplane was descending in a nose down attitude. The airplane impacted the field nose down, and came to rest partially inverted. The cockpit and all instrumentation were destroyed by the impact. Control continuity was established on all flight control surfaces. Examination of the elevator controls revealed that the push-pull control rod bolt for the elevator control was missing at the attachment point on the elevator control assembly. There was no distortion of the control rod hole, or the attachment hole. Also it was noted that there were no castellated nuts installed on four of the bolts which attach the main support brackets of the flight control assembly, and no cotter key was installed on the castellated nut for the left aileron control cable in the same area. According to the owner, the last annual inspection was done on August 1, 2001. Maintenance records were not recovered for examination.

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

The in-flight separation of the elevator push-pull control tube that resulted in a loss of flight control and subsequent collision with the ground.

Full narrative available

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