FTW03LA115
FTW03LA115

On March 23, 2003, approximately 1100 central standard time, a Cessna FA150K single-engine aerobatic airplane, N922SZ, sustained structural damage during recovery from an acrobatic maneuver near Houston, Texas. The airplane was owned and operated by the private pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The personal flight departed the Weiser Air Park (EYQ) approximately 1030.

On the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the pilot reported that during the completion of the steep spiral from 3,000 feet msl to 1,000 feet msl, he felt a shudder in the yoke. Utilizing power adjustments, the pilot landed the airplane on runway 09 without further incident. Examination of the airplane revealed that the trim tab and hinge had separated from the right elevator.

The 496-hour private pilot was issued his private pilot certificate in 1996. His most recent third class medical certificate was issued in July 15, 2001, with the limitation "Must wear corrective lenses."

The airplane was manufactured in France as a F150 in 1970, and was imported into the United States in May 1993, at accumulated aircraft time of 7,345.35 hours, and engine time of 1,458.0 hours. Following the importation, the airplane was assembled using the Cessna 150 series 1969 through 1976 Service Manual and the annual inspection was performed. On May 20, 1993, the FAA airworthiness certificate was issued for the airplane. The airplane was registered to the current owner on May 25, 1998. The last annual inspection was performed on November 5, 2002, at accumulated aircraft time of 7,708.04 hours.

On March 24, 2003, an FAA inspector and the manufacturer's representative examined the airplane. The right stabilizer was bent upward, the trim tab actuator was found loose in the mount, the rivet holes, where the trim tab attached to the elevator, were deformed. The trim tab actuator was removed for further examination, and black electrical tape was found around the trim tab actuator body in the area under each clamp. The trim tab actuator was found extended 1.8 inches or approximately 7 degrees tab up. The right horizontal stabilizer exhibited physical evidence of upward bending at the root. The elevator, trim tab actuator, and clamps were retained for additional examination by the manufacturer's representative. To date the trim tab has not been found. The rivet holes on the elevator exhibited deformation consistent with the trim tab separation pulling the rivet heads through the elevator skin.

At 0953, the weather observation facility at David Wayne Hooks Airport (located approximately 19 miles northeast of the accident) reported the wind from 270 degrees at 4 knots, visibility 10m statute miles, sky clear, temperature 17 degrees Celsius, dew point 8 degrees Celsius, and the altimeter setting 30.15 inches Mercury.

The manufacturer's examination of the trim tab actuator revealed dimensions consistent with manufacturer part number 1260074-1, and the clamps were consistent with manufacturers part number AN742D13. The clamps were closed and the inside diameter measured. One clamp measured .842 inch and the other measured .860 inch in diameter. The Air Force - Aeronautical Standard for the AN742D13 clamp indicated the diameter to be .813 inch. The trim tab actuator body measured .815 inch in diameter.



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