NTSB Identification: ERA13LA052
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 10, 2012 in Gordon, AL
Aircraft: WALLER CHARLES R RANS S12-XL, registration: N933CW
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On November 10, 2012, at 0843 central standard time, an experimental amateur built RANS S-12XL, N933CW was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Gordon, Alabama. The certificated private pilot was uninjured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight departed a private airstrip near Gordon, Alabama, destined for a private airstrip in Ashford, Alabama
According to the pilot, he departed from a private turf airstrip near Gordon, Alabama. After climbing to an altitude of 350 above sea level he leveled off. Approximately one mile north of the airstrip, while cruising at an indicated airspeed of 60 miles per hour (mph), the airplane's elevator suddenly began to flutter "violently" shaking the whole airplane. The pilot reduced his airspeed to 50 mph in an attempt to stop the elevator from fluttering but was unsuccessful. He then decided to make an emergency landing in a cow pasture as he was worried that structural failure could occur as the flutter kept rapidly moving the control stick forward and aft approximately 6 inches and the elevator was rapidly moving up and down about 20 degrees.
Upon touchdown on the cow pasture the nosewheel dropped into a hole and the airplane nosed over substantially damaging the forward fuselage structure and came to rest inverted. The passenger and the pilot then released their seatbelts, fell out of their seats, and exited the airplane.
Post accident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that an actuator cable for the elevator's trim tab was broken, that it was not of braided construction, and was made of solid wire.
According to FAA records, the accident airplane received its experimental airworthiness certificate in 2002.
According to FAA records, the pilot held a sport pilot certificate and repairman certificates for the RANS S-12 and S-14.
Portions of the airplane's pitch trim system were retained by the NTSB for further examination.
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