NTSB Identification: CEN11LA558
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, August 22, 2011 in Alpine, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: PIPER AEROSTAR 601P, registration: N8076J
Injuries: 3 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.

Shortly after takeoff, the pilot felt a vibration in the airplane’s controls and elected to return to the departure airport for a precautionary landing. While on short final, the airplane impacted a fence then made a hard landing on the runway. During the landing, the main landing gear was pushed up through the wing and the nose gear collapsed. The airplane subsequently exited the runway before coming to rest in an upright position. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the bolt holding the rudder trim tab to the actuator connecting rod was missing. The absence of this bolt would have allowed the trim tab to swing freely on its hinge. The pilot reported that during the preflight inspection, he observed that the rudder trim system was inoperative. Unable to center the rudder trim tab, the pilot elected to remove the bolt before takeoff. The pilot further reported that he was planning to have the trim system repaired when he returned his home base.

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

The pilot’s improper flare which resulted in a hard landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s improper decision to fly the airplane with a known mechanical deficiency.

Full narrative available

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