Squawk Box

July 2011 Issue

Cracked, Failed, Fractured

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

After takeoff on a post-inspection flight, the pilot heard a "snap" and the aircraft pitched up. Control was regained by reducing power and using elevator trim. The aircraft returned for a successful high-speed wheel landing. The elevator cable (p/n 414-187097-1) broke at the pulley above the tail wheel, at bulkhead number 14. The pulley was free to rotate but exhibited signs of wear—possibly from over-tensioning of the cable. Further inspection revealed broken cable strands in the area of its attachment to the elevator control bull wheel.

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