On June 7, 1997 about 0915 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-15 aircraft, N4173H, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Easton, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight. No flight plan had been filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In the NTSB Form 6120.1/2, Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, the pilot that he departed from Easton Airport and climbed to 1,200 feet MSL, and set cruise power at 2250 RPM.

He further stated:

"...I rolled the plane into a shallow bank and turned to a 45 degree N heading relative to the runway. After a short time initiated a shallow bank to the left. When I sought to level the plane I had not aileron control. The plane continued in a shallow bank and was starting to circle. When I applied opposite rudder the wing would lift only to settle back to a left wing low turn - I was concerned with the plane going inverted. The wind was carrying me toward Nazaretly. I elected to try to descend and to utilize the three large open fields under and to the west of me. By controlling my rate of descent via the throttle and still describing large circles I maneuvered the plane into the northwest corner of a large field. I pulled the power and tried to land I could not get plane down - I would not try to slip - the tree line was coming up I was about 4 - 6 feet AGL - I pulled up to impact the trees higher - I hit, broke thru and dropped - Lots of plane damage, lots of pilot bruises."

The accident flight was the first flight for the airplane following an annual inspection.

The airplane was examined by an Inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration who reported that the pulley for the aileron cable mounted on the wing strut was chipped. This allowed the cable to come off track with a loss of cable tension in the aileron control system.

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