On July 13, 1995, at 1530 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 305A, N5204G, struck trees while on approach to land at Warren Sugarbush Airport, Warren, Vermont. The Airline Transport rated pilot, received minor injuries, and the airplane was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the local glider towing flight which was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91, and had departed at 1520.

The airplane had been used for several flight during the day, towing gliders aloft. In the NTSB Accident Report, the pilot stated:

The tow was normal and the glider released at 3,800 FT AGL. Returned to the airport, entered the traffic pattern for a landing on rw 22, the elevator control cable seized and I was unable to control the descent of the aircraft. The A/C impacted in the trees about 1/2 mile NNE of the airport. Time was about 3:30 EDT.

An FAA Inspector examined the wreckage and in a report stated:

The up elevator cable appeared to have broken prior to the crash and showed signs of wear. (station: 110) The elevator cable pulley may also have been binding. (station: 110) The rest of the aircraft and cables appeared to be in a well maintained condition....

After a discussion with the aircraft owner...about the inspections requirements and the difficulty of inspections in this area of the aircraft. [The owner]...contacted several other soaring associations and initiated a reinspection of all aircraft elevator cables in this area. Several aircraft were found to have evidence of elevator cable wear and corrective action has been initiated.

In a telephone interview, the FAA reported that they were unable to determine if the inspection on the airplane had been inadequate due to the length of time (75 hours) between the previous inspection and the accident.

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