Squawk Box

July 2002 Issue

Separation Anxiety

Accident reveals broken control cables and corroded pulleys in Cessna 172

The following information is derived from the FAA’s Service Difficulty Reports and Aviation Maintenance Alerts.


Witnesses in the airport traffic pattern heard the pilot of a Cessna 172M announce on the radio that he had lost all aileron control.

The airplane crashed, and while investigating the accident, an NTSB investigator discovered that two flight control cables were broken. He found that the left aileron control cable separated in the area of the top pulley located at the right doorpost. The cable was severely frayed for several inches on each side of the failure point and there was evidence of heavy corrosion on the cable and inside the pulley track.

When the pu...

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