NYC99LA144
NYC99LA144

On June 16, 1999, about 2030 Eastern Daylight Time, a Taylorcraft BC-65, N36205, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a field in Corinna, Maine. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that originated from a private airstrip in Cambridge, Maine; destined for Dexter Regional Airport, Dexter, Maine. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot stated that he was traveling over Weymouth Pond approximately 800 feet, about 80 to 90 MPH. As he initiated a left turn, he experienced buffeting of the aircraft. At that time:

"...the aircraft started shaking violently. I eased back on the power gently in an attempt to minimize the stress on the aircraft. I was guiding it in a straight line, and felt that its disintegration might be imminent. The violent shaking stopped abruptly, and the aircraft entered a moderate left turn, without any shaking at all. I attempted to resume straight and level flight with right aileron, but even though I had appropriate throw and pressure from the control yoke, the airplane would not come out of its left wing low bank. I tried various throttle settings and pitch attitudes as well as right rudder in conjunction with full right aileron in my attempt to establish a straight flight path...After circling several times it became apparent that the airplane would not hold altitude while turning to the left with full right aileron and rudder. I decided to attempt a landing in the larger of two interconnect farm fields on the Western side of the pond."

The pilot made a forced landing to a field. During the landing, the propeller, left landing gear, and right wing sustained damage. The pilot further stated:

"I feel strongly that something let go in one of the wings, possibly that anti-drag rod.....I feel very strongly that something failed in the wing causing the violent flutter, and then, I suspect strongly, that the resulting loss of torsional stiffness allowed the leading edge of the right wing to twist up increasing its angle of attack and the amount of lift it generated in the relation to the left wing. This increase in lift, I feel, caused the airplane to bank to the left."

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector, and a local mechanic, did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical malfunctions. The mechanic stated that he examined the airplane on two separate occasions. He added that the drag/anti-drag rods, installed in the wing, keep the wing "square." The accident airplane had eight rods in each wing. If one rod failed, the pilot would not notice any change in airplane performance. He further stated that similar airplanes had Airworthiness Directives to inspect the rods because a pilot could fly for a long period of time and not know that one rod may have separated. The wing could not deform or flutter after a failure of one rod, a rib or spar would have to fail. The mechanic observed one rod, in the right wing, pulled from it's socket, consistent with the impact damage to the leading edge of the right wing.

The pilot spoke to the mechanic for approximately 3 hours. According to the mechanic, the pilot could not recall the indicated airspeed, when the disruption occurred.

The airplane owner was asked about the accident. He stated "I can't believe he didn't recognize a stall." He added that the airplane was not equipped with a stall warning system.

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