NTSB Identification: SEA05FA022.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 05, 2004 in Renton, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 185F, registration: N532PC
Injuries: 1 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.

After liftoff from a touch-and-go landing, the aircraft climbed to about 100 feet above the ground, whereupon the pilot transmitted that he had a problem. Although he did not specify what the problem was, the aircraft was seen entering what initially appeared to be a pilot-initiated left turn. Soon thereafter the aircraft's bank angle and pitch angle increased, and it subsequently descended into a commercial aircraft post-production parking ramp. Just prior to impact, the aircraft's bank angle had increased to more than 80 degrees, and it's nose was approximately 40 degrees below the horizon. Both a photo from a ramp security camera, and a post-accident inspection revealed that the flaps where in the full-down position at impact. Further investigation revealed that the flap latch inner pivot bushing and the rivet that retained it were missing. This resulted in the flap latch becoming detached from its pivot point within the handle, leaving no way for it to be disengaged from the flaps full-down notch in the flap ratchet plate, thus negating the possibility of flap retraction. It was also determined that the holes in the sides of the flap handle, wherein the inner pivot bushing rests, had both worn to an oblong shape. One of the holes, at the point of its greatest diameter, had worn to .337 inch oversize.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control when the flaps became jammed/stuck in their full-down position during a takeoff from a touch-and-go landing. Factors include a worn/disconnected flap latch mechanism, and the flaps being unable to be retracted.

Full narrative available

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