On September 24, 1999, at 1306 Alaska daylight time, a Maule ML-4 airplane, N4623T, sustained substantial damage when it nosed over during takeoff from the Lake Hood Strip, Anchorage, Alaska. The solo airline transport pilot received minor injuries. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) postmaintenance check flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the FAA inspector who interviewed the pilot, and inspected the airplane at the scene, the pilot was beginning the first flight after rebuilding the airplane. The pilot indicated to the inspector, that as the airplane began to fly off the runway, he pulled aft on the yoke, and the airplane nosed over. A postaccident inspection revealed the elevator cables were connected backwards.
The pilot, who is also a certificated aircraft mechanic, told the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) during a telephone interview on September 27, that he bought the airplane as a project, and rebuilt it. He stated that during the rebuild he hooked up the elevator cables backwards, and did not recognize the error during his inspection. He added that he did not have anyone else inspect his work. He indicated that he was beginning the takeoff on the first test flight, and as soon as he pulled aft on the yoke, the airplane nosed over.
The airplane came to rest inverted, and sustained substantial damage to both wings, the vertical stabilizer, and the left wing lift-strut.