On Monday, April 4, 1994, about 1040 eastern daylight time, an experimental home-built Talago Thundergull JT2 airplane, N73ST owned and piloted by Stanley Talago, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during an uncontrolled descent at the Benedum Airport (CKB), Clarksburg, West Virginia. The certificated private pilot received serious injuries. The local personal flight was being operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight operating under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
A (CKB) Air Traffic Control Specialist stated, "N73ST lifted off prior to Taxiway "E". After reaching approximately 50 feet AGL, the aircraft banked to the right. The aircraft continued in the right bank and crashed nose first in the grass...."
In the NTSB form 6120.1/2, the pilot stated, "After a good pre-flight the tower cleared me to depart...Immediately on lift off, the aircraft jumped to the right...There was definitely a control problem but I have not pinpointed where."
A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety inspector examined the airplane and found that the bolt connecting the two rods in the aileron assemblage push pull arrangement was missing. These connecting rods are located at the center wing section over the rear passenger area. The bolt holes in both rods showed no deformation. No bolt was found in the wreckage or in the wreckage area. Additionally, the jam nut for this bolt was found loose during a conformity inspection. The airplane had a total of 4 hours.
A conformity inspection was performed by an FAA designated airworthiness representative (DAR) on November 29, 1993. The DAR's conformity inspection report stated, "Jam nut loose on aileron control in overhead." The report revealed that the corrective action taken was that the bolt was "tightened". The report also revealed that the bolt was too short on the right aileron push-pull rod and that a thinner washer was used as a corrective measure.
During a telephone interview with an Earthstar employee, the airplane kit manufacturer, he stated that a self locking "elastic stop" nut is specified/recommended for the two rods in the aileron assemblage push pull arrangement. According to the DAR's conformity inspection report, the builder used a "jam nut."