CEN11LA275
CEN11LA275

On April 7, 2011, about 1140 central daylight time, a Piper PA-32-300, N31407, nosed over shortly after takeoff and impacted the runway. The airplane had just lifted off from runway 17 (5,001 feet by 100 feet, concrete) at Sundance Airport (HSD), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The nose landing gear collapsed and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall during the accident sequence. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated without a flight plan. The flight originated from HSD about 1130.

The pilot informed Federal Aviation Administration inspectors that he was performing takeoffs and landings (touch and goes) at the time of the accident. He stated that upon completion of the second touch and go, about 15 feet above ground level during the initial climb after lifting off, the nose of the airplane pitched down abruptly. The nose landing gear contacted the runway, followed immediately by the main landing gear. The airplane bounced and momentarily became airborne again. When it impacted the runway again, the nose landing gear collapsed. The airplane veered to the left and came to rest in the grass area adjacent to the runway.

A postaccident examination revealed that a stabilator control cable had failed at a turnbuckle as a result of stress corrosion cracking.

The airplane was within the maintenance inspection requirements at the time of the accident, with the most recent annual inspection being completed approximately 1 year prior to the accident. The airplane service manual included a special control cable fitting inspection for airplanes in service 15 years or more. Any evidence of corrosion or cracking was cause for replacement according to the service manual. The accident pilot had owned the airplane for approximately 26 years. During the time he owned the airplane, the control cables had not been replaced.

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