NTSB Identification: ERA13LA069
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 28, 2012 in Merritt Island, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/07/2014
Aircraft: LAWSON J/BOWIE R/SMITH M CA-8, registration: N155JD
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 pilot was conducting a cross-country flight, and the first leg of the flight was uneventful. After the airplane was refueled, the pilot departed for his destination airport. About 200 miles from the destination airport, the airplane began experiencing a left rolling tendency, which required right aileron control inputs to counteract; the rolling progressively worsened as the flight continued. During that time, the pilot could have diverted to several other airports along his route of flight. While maneuvering in the traffic pattern at the destination airport, full right aileron control was required to maintain straight-and-level flight, and only a slight relaxing of right aileron control was needed to turn left. The pilot had difficulty compensating for a northwest crosswind and performed a go-around. During the second approach, the pilot lined up the airplane on the northern side of the runway approach course, and, subsequently, he attempted to perform another go-around. When the pilot applied engine power, the airplane began to roll slowly left despite right aileron and rudder control inputs. He decreased the engine power, but the airplane's left wing struck the ground, and the airplane flipped over. Examination of the airplane did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation; however, the condition of the wreckage, which included impact damage to the aileron control servo, precluded the ability to functionally check the flight control system, which was electrically actuated. Wind reported at an airport located about 8 miles southeast of the accident site was from 340 degrees at 16 knots about the time of the accident.

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

The pilot's improper decision to continue a cross-country flight as a primary control (aileron) system anomaly progressively worsened. Contributing to the accident was an aileron control system anomaly, the reason for which could not be determined because the aileron control system could not be tested due to impact damage, and the pilot’s inability to compensate for crosswind conditions encountered during the approach due to the aileron problem.

Full narrative available

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