Accident Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser N3280M,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 194694
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Date:Saturday 8 April 2017
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA12 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser
Registration: N3280M
MSN: 12-2136
Year of manufacture:1947
Total airframe hrs:1735 hours
Engine model:Lycoming O-235 SERIES
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Orlando Sanford International Airport, FL (SFB/KSFB) -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Orlando Sanford International Airport, FL (SFB/KSFB)
Destination airport:Orlando Sanford International Airport, FL (SFB/KSFB)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The accident flight was the airplane's first flight after undergoing restoration over the course of 2 years. Although the mechanic who had worked on the airplane with the pilot wanted the pilot to do a high-speed taxi test before flight, the pilot wanted to "hurry up" and test fly the airplane as he had a friend visiting and wanted to take him flying in the airplane.

During the takeoff, witnesses observed the airplane pitch up into a nose-high attitude just after liftoff, stall, and descend in a nose-down attitude to ground impact. Examination of the wreckage revealed crush damage to the nose and the leading edges of the wings that was consistent with a nearly vertical nose-down flight path at the time of impact. Further examination of the wreckage revealed that the airplane's elevator control cables were misrigged, such that they were attached to the incorrect (opposite) locations on the upper and lower ends of the elevator control horn, resulting in a reversal of elevator control inputs. If the pilot had checked the elevator for correct motion during the preflight inspection and before takeoff check, he likely would have discovered that it was misrigged, and the accident would have been avoided.

Probable Cause: The incorrect rigging of the elevator control cables, which resulted in a reversal of elevator control inputs applied by the pilot during the takeoff, an excessive nose-high pitch, and subsequent aerodynamic stall after takeoff. Also causal was the inadequate postmaintenance inspection and the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection and before takeoff check, which failed to detect the misrigging.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA17FA148
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report




Photo: NTSB


Revision history:

08-Apr-2017 20:38 harro Added
08-Apr-2017 20:38 harro Updated [Time, Damage]
16-May-2018 15:36 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
16-May-2018 17:32 harro Updated [Narrative, Photo, ]
20-May-2018 09:30 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
08-Apr-2021 08:50 Aerossurance Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Embed code]

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