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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 174855
Last updated: 2 December 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic AT3T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Air Tractor AT-400
Owner/operator:Devil Dusters Inc
Registration: N136DB
MSN: 400-0504
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Near Levelland Municipal Airport (KLLN), Levelland, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Levelland, TX (KLLN)
Destination airport:Levelland, TX (KLLN)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The pilot reported that, shortly after takeoff on a postmaintenance test flight, the flight controls felt “stiff.” The pilot flew a traffic pattern and intended to conduct a precautionary landing on the runway. However, after the pilot turned the airplane to the final leg in the traffic pattern, the airplane started to roll left. While attempting to level the wings, the pilot observed the left aileron traveling up and down. During the landing, the airplane bounced twice, rolled left, and then cartwheeled.
The airplane had undergone extensive maintenance throughout the year before the accident, and, during this maintenance, maintenance personnel reinstalled the ailerons. The accident flight was the first flight following this maintenance. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the hardware that attached the long aileron pushrod to the aileron bellcrank was not present, and the hardware was not found at the accident site; therefore, it could not be determined whether new or existing hardware was installed during the recent maintenance. However, given that the flight control malfunction occurred immediately following the extensive maintenance, it is likely that maintenance personnel either did not install the attachment hardware at all or did not install it properly, either of which would have resulted in the loss of airplane control and subsequent impact with terrain.
Probable Cause: The in-flight separation of the left aileron's attachment hardware at the connection between the long aileron pushrod and the left aileron bellcrank. Contributing to the accident was maintenance personnel’s improper installation of, or failure to install, the left aileron attachment hardware.


FAA register:

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


Revision history:

27-Mar-2015 04:59 Geno Added
27-Mar-2015 20:12 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
28-Mar-2015 06:32 harro Updated [Embed code]
17-Apr-2015 01:03 Geno Updated [Time, Nature, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
01-Dec-2017 12:47 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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