NTSB Identification: ATL82DA115
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 25, 1982 in LOUISVILLE, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/1983
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23, registration: N1227P
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

THE PILOT STATED THAT DURING LEVEL FLIGHT AT 9000 FT, HE NOTICED SMOKE COMING FROM UNDER THE INSTRUMENT PANEL, FOLLOWED BY A VIBRATION FOR 15 TO 20 SECONDS. HE DIVERTED AND LANDED AT LOUISVILLE, KY WITHOUT FURTHER INCIDENT. AN EXAMINATION REVEALED THAT THE RUDDER TRIM TAB ACTUATOR ARM HAD SEPARATED FROM THE TAB. ALSO, THE TAB AND MOST OF THE RUDDER HAD SEPARATED FROM THE VERTICLE STABILIZER. MAINTENANCE HAD BEEN PERFORMED IN THE AREA OF THE RUDDER TRIM TAB ACTUATOR ARM ATTACH AREA. FOUR POPPED RIVETS HAD BEEN USED TO ATTACH A SKIN PATCH (UNDER THE RUDDER TRIM TAB BRACKET). EIGHT RIVETS WERE USED TO ATTACH THE BRACKET TO THE TRIM TAB. NONE OF THE 12 RIVETS MET THE STANDARD OF DEFORMING/EXPANDING THE RIVET TO 1 AND 1/2 TIMES THE ORIGINAL DIAMETER. AN EXAMINATION OF THE LOGBOOKS FAILED TO REVEAL WHEN THE MAINTENANCE WAS PERFORMED.

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

FLIGHT CONTROL,RUDDER TAB..FAILURE,PARTIAL

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

MAINTENANCE..INADEQUATE..OTHER MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL





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