NTSB Identification: NYC02LA201.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 04, 2002 in Berlin, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/2003
Aircraft: Unknown T-Bird II, registration: None
Injuries: 2 Serious.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
About 20 minutes after takeoff, while flying through some turbulent air, the pilot experienced a loss of elevator control. The pitch oscillated as the pilot attempted to return to the airport, but the airplane eventually pitched nose down into the roof of a hangar. Examination of the wreckage revealed that two bolts, which secured the elevator assembly, had failed consistent with overstress. A piece from one of the bolts was not recovered, and the pilot did not notice the missing piece until he had removed the fabric near the outer connection of the elevator to recover the other bolt. There were no holes in the fabric, and the pilot could not explain the missing bolt piece. He believed that the missing bolt had failed several years ago. The airplane was manufactured in 1996, and the pilot purchased it from a previous owner in 1999. At the time of purchase, the airplane had accumulated 16 hours of total flight time. The pilot installed a new engine, and had flown about 16 additional hours until the accident. After the purchase, the pilot had the airplane refabricated. He thought it was possible that the people refabricating the airplane did not notice the missing bolt, and it dropped to the ground during the refabrication. The pilot surmised that flying 16 hours with one bolt missing increased the stress on the remaining bolt.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Failure of the elevator attachment bolts. Full narrative available
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