NTSB Identification: DEN06IA056.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Incident occurred Wednesday, April 05, 2006 in Denver, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Swearingen SA226TC, registration: N770S
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
Prior to departure, the pilot completed the pre-takeoff checklist, which included checking the flight controls. While at 80-85 knots during the takeoff roll, the pilot "noticed pitch seemed very light. At rotation speed, [pilot] pulled back on yoke and aircraft left ground. At this point, yoke came back all the way back and aircraft began to quickly pitch upward." The pilot reported that moving the yoke forward had no effect and it felt disconnected from the elevators. The pilot quickly began to trim nose down and reduced power to stop excessive nose up pitch. After gaining marginal control of the aircraft, the pilot advised air traffic control he had a "flight control problem" and requested a return for landing. During the downwind leg to runway 17L, the pilot "experimented with various configurations...to determine the method of approach and landing." The pilot executed a gradual descent to the runway and landed uneventfully. Examination of the airplane by company maintenance personnel revealed that "the elevator down cable was improperly routed at the pulley in the vertical stab, just below the elevator bell crank. This caused the cable to wear against a guide until the cable failed." The aircraft underwent an inspection 10 days prior to the incident. According to the inspection checklist, the elevator cables and related components were inspected with no anomalies noted. Upon discovery of the improper routed cable, the operator checked the other 18 aircraft in their fleet. No discrepanices were found.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: the failure of the elevator down cable due to an improperly routed cable by unknown maintenance personnel. A contributing factor was the improper inspection of the elevator cable by the operator's maintenance personnel. Full narrative available
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