NTSB Identification: FTW03LA115.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 23, 2003 in Houston, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2004
Aircraft: Cessna FA150K, registration: N922SZ
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

While recovering from a steep spiral from 3,000 feet msl to 1,000 feet msl, the pilot felt a shudder in the yoke. Utilizing power adjustments, the 496-hour pilot landed the airplane without further incident. Examination of the airplane revealed that the trim tab and hinge had separated from the right elevator. The right stabilizer was bent upward, the trim tab actuator was found loose in the mount, the rivet holes where the trim tab attached to the elevator, were deformed. Examination of the trim tab actuator revealed black electrical tape wrapped around the trim tab actuator body in the area under each clamp. The trim tab was not found. The rivet holes on the elevator exhibited deformation consistent with the trim tab separation pulling the rivet heads through the elevator skin. The part numbers for the trim tab actuator and clamps (AN742D13) were consistent with manufacturers part numbers. When the clamps were closed and the inside diameter measured, one clamp measured .842 inch and the other measured .860 inch in diameter. The Air Force -Aeronautical Standard for the AN742D13 clamp indicated the diameter to be .813 inch. The investigation was not able to determine when the electrical tape was placed on the actuator. The last annual inspection was performed on November 5, 2002, at accumulated aircraft time of 7,708.04 hours.

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

The in-flight separation of the elevator trim tab.

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