FTW00LA230
FTW00LA230

On August 13, 2000, at 1930 central daylight time, an Aeronca 65-CA single-engine airplane, N33783, was substantially damaged during impact with trees and terrain following a loss of control in cruise flight near Liberty Hill, Texas. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. The private pilot, sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight originated from Sunrise Beach Village, Texas, at 1830.

The pilot reported to FAA inspectors, who responded to the accident site, that during cruise flight, he felt a bump and the airplane began a level turn to the left. He applied right rudder; however, the airplane continued to turn left. The pilot further reported that the airplane went under some wires prior to impacting trees.

A witness reported to the FAA inspectors that he observed two airplanes flying toward him at about 300-500 feet agl. The airplane on the left side made a "sudden flat left turn" and descended from view behind some trees.

Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed that the left wing tip was damaged, and the right main landing gear was folded under the fuselage. The right wing's spars were damaged, and the pilot's seat structure was torn loose.

Flight control continuity was established to all flight controls; however, the tab where the left rudder cable attaches to the torque tube arm for the left rudder pedal was found damaged. The torque tube arm was located just inside of where the pilot's right foot would rest. The pilot stated that he "placed his right foot on the [left rudder] torque tube arm and not on the right rudder. This caused the start of the left yaw. I then pushed hard on the torque tube arm and this caused the [airplane] to flat spin to the left, spin recovery did not occur because I was holding the left rudder all the way to the ground."

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