NTSB Identification: LAX05LA085.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 04, 2005 in Calexico, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2006
Aircraft: Air Tractor AT-401, registration: N4530L
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.

The airplane veered off the runway, collided with a berm, and came to rest in a ditch following a loss of control during landing. During the landing flare the pilot encountered a left crosswind and he input right rudder to compensate for the crosswind, but the pedal would not move. After the accident the pilot noticed that he was still depressing the right rudder pedal. He looked down and saw that the rudder pedal adjusting pin was caught on the aft edge of the hopper. When he relaxed pressure on the rudder pedal, the pedal moved to the left and was free of the hopper. Post accident examination by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed a groove the pin had carved into the side wall of the hopper over time. The groove began at a radius in the hopper wall where the wall turned 90 degrees from a cross cockpit orientation to a longitudinal direction. When he depressed the rudder pedal, he noted that the adjusting pin contacted the groove the entire length of travel. He further noted that despite the contact of the pin in the groove, there was no restriction of movement of the rudder pedal. A gouge dimensionally identical in shape and size to the pin was observed in the hopper just to the right of where the adjusting pin contacted the groove. The FAA inspector noted no groove or gouge on the left side of the hopper.

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

a loss of directional control due to a jammed rudder pedal, which prevented the pilot from exercising full rudder control authority.

Full narrative available

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