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N8DV accident description

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Crash location 41.585555°N, 70.540277°W
Nearest city East Falmouth, MA
41.578443°N, 70.558640°W
1.1 miles away
Tail number N8DV
Accident date 15 Sep 2015
Aircraft type J. Schilling S-19
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On September 15, 2015, about 1350 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Rans S19, N8DV, was substantially damaged while landing at Falmouth Airpark (5B6), East Falmouth, Massachusetts. The sport pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual as a personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the flight that originated from Spadaro Airport (1N2), East Moriches, New York, about 1240.

The pilot reported that during the landing flare to runway 25, the airplane "ballooned." The pilot relaxed back pressure on the control stick to correct, but the airplane then struck the runway hard and departed the left side. The airplane subsequently nosed over in soft grass and came to rest inverted.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed damage to the vertical stabilizer, nosegear, and left wingtip. The inspector also noted that the stabilator trim tab (anti servo tab) push-pull tube threaded end (P/N KPTR0061) had separated from its female connection (P/N KPTR0062) with the associated nut remaining loose on the threads. The inspector observed the three end threads stripped.

Another FAA inspector stated that when he compared the connection on the accident airplane to the kit manufacturer's assembly manual (Figure 08C-10), he noted that the manual depicted about a .5-inch portion of the threaded push-pull tube end inserted into the female connection, with .5-inch of the threaded portion remaining exposed and visible on the opposite side of the securing plain nut. However, the connection on the accident airplane was three threads inserted into the female connection, with 1 inch of the threaded portion of the push-pull tube remaining exposed and visible on the opposite side of the securing plain nut, indicating that about .5 inch more threaded portion should have been inserted and secured into the female end to withstand the loads incurred at the connection. This discrepancy could have been detected during a condition inspection.

Further review of Figure 08C-10 revealed, "CAUTION: THREADS MUST BE ENGAGED A MINIMUM OF 10 FULL THREADS."

The airplane had been assembled from a kit and issued a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) special airworthiness certificate on January 8, 2014. The pilot purchased the airplane from the builder on April 23, 2015. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 94.5 total hours of operation. The pilot further stated that he performed the last condition inspection on May 6, 2015, which was 32.8 hours of operation prior to the accident. The pilot had accrued 558 hours of total flight experience, which included 37 hours in the accident airplane. The pilot's recent flight experience included 27 hours during the 90-day period preceding the accident; of which, 10 hours were flown during the 30-day period preceding the accident. All of those hours were flown in the accident airplane.

The recorded wind at an airport located about 5 miles north of the accident site, at 1355, included wind from 290 degrees at 8 knots.

NTSB Probable Cause

The experimental airplane builder's failure to properly secure the stabilator trim tab push-pull tube’s connection, which resulted in the tube’s separation and a subsequent hard landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot/owner's failure to detect the improperly secured connection during a recent condition inspection.

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