NTSB Identification: LAX04LA227.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 29, 2004 in Hollister, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Beech A36, registration: N6797Y
Injuries: 5 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.

The airplane impacted a taxiway sign, a bale of hay, and a ditch during an aborted takeoff. The private pilot reported that she conducted the preflight inspection and conducted the pre-takeoff and systems and settings checks. During the takeoff roll about halfway down the runway, the control yoke pushed back against the pilot's hand and the nose wheel came up off the runway. The pilot then applied forward pressure on the control yoke while checking the airspeed indicator. The pilot noticed that the airspeed was in the "green range," and released some of the forward pressure that she had applied to the yoke. When she released the forward pressure, the airplane's nose pitched up abruptly, and the stall warning horn sounded. The airplane was approximately 35 feet above the ground when this occurred. The pilot lowered the nose to gain airspeed, but the airplane banked to the left approximately 30 degrees. The pilot reduced the power to abort the takeoff, and the wings leveled. The airplane was to the left of the departure runway and 50 feet above the ground, so the pilot elected to reapply full power. The airplane banked left again so the pilot pulled the power to idle to abort the takeoff. During the aborted takeoff, the airplane impacted the taxiway sign, bale of hay, and ditch before coming to rest. A post accident examination of the trim system revealed that the trim tab was approximately 5.5 degrees off from the cockpit's trim indicator in the nose up direction. No mechanical reason could be found for what the pilot described as the airplane's left banking tendency. Review of the maintenance records revealed that the airplane underwent its last annual inspection 80 hours prior to the accident. During the annual inspection the mechanic "checked lights, cables, pulleys, controls, and attach points." Approximately 150 hours prior to the accident, a mechanic "installed bushings and jack screws, and hardware as necessary to remove excessive free play from elevator trim tab system." The pilot did not notice the trim setting anomaly during the preflight inspection.

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

the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection which failed to detect the mis-rigged elevator trim system, and the pilot's delay in aborting the takeoff.

Full narrative available

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