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N785TT accident description

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Crash location 38.959722°N, 94.371389°W
Nearest city Lee'S Summit, MO
38.922559°N, 94.372990°W
2.6 miles away
Tail number N785TT
Accident date 31 Jul 2011
Aircraft type T&T Aviation Inc Falcon Ls
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 31, 2011, about 2100 central daylight time, a T & T Aviation Falcon LS experimental, light sport airplane, N785TT, veered to the left and departed the runway pavement on landing at Lee's Summit Municipal Airport (LXT), Lee's Summit, Missouri. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The nose landing gear collapsed during the accident sequence. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Renegade Light Sport LLC. The flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from Portage Municipal Airport (C47), Portage, Wisconsin, about 1700. The intended destination was LXT.

The pilot reported that the landing touchdown was normal on the main landing gear. However, when the nose landing gear touched down, the airplane veered to the left. The airplane departed the runway pavement and subsequently struck 3 runway/taxiway signs. The pilot stated that his efforts to maintain control were not effective. The airplane crossed an adjacent taxiway, before coming to rest in a grass area. The pilot noted that there were no problems with the takeoff or flight prior to the landing.

A postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies related to the nose wheel steering; however, binding of the rudder cables was observed. The left Teleflex rudder cable was bent approximately 10 degrees near the forward end. Binding was noted when the rudder was centered from right deflection. Deflecting the rudder to the right required approximately 10 lbs. of force. Although, centering the rudder from right deflection required about 40 lbs. of force. The rudder tended to suddenly release and go hard left when the binding was overcome. Rudder deflection to the left was normal with no binding.

The airplane manufacturer stated they will be removing the Teleflex cables and incorporating standard aircraft cables in all future production airplanes. One airplane has been sold privately at the time of this report. The owner of that airplane will have the option of replacing the Teleflex cables with standard cables, as well.

Teleflex cables are constructed with a sleeve surrounding the center cable. On installation, the sleeve is secured to a bulkhead or fitting, providing an anchor point for the cable assembly. The center cable slides within the sleeve when actuated, in this case to control the rudder.

The accident airplane was initially issued a Special-Production Flight Test airworthiness certificate on March 30, 2009. A Special-Light Sport airworthiness certificate was issued on April 16, 2009, and subsequently re-issued on July 24, 2009, with revised operating limitations. A Special-Experimental Light Sport airworthiness certificate was issued on June 25, 2010. This airworthiness certificate was in effect at the time of the accident.

NTSB Probable Cause

A binding condition in the left rudder cable which resulted in a loss of directional control during landing.

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