Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Piper PA-22-135, N2677A: Accident occurred January 31, 2012 in Sheridan, Arkansas

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA146 
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, January 31, 2012 in Sheridan, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/14/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-22-135, registration: N2677A
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that the takeoff was normal until the airplane was climbing through about 200 feet above the ground, at which time he observed that the passenger suddenly tensed up. The pilot said he was then unable to move the rudder pedals because the passenger was stepping on the passenger-side rudder controls. The airplane skewed to the left, descended, and impacted terrain on the left side of the runway. A postaccident examination confirmed flight control continuity and revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

The passenger reported this was his first flight ever in any aircraft. He also reported that he was not pressing on the rudder pedals. However, given the pilot’s experience in the accident airplane and the lack of evidence of a preimpact anomaly, it is likely that the passenger did inadvertently interfere with the rudder pedals.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The passenger’s interference with the flight controls during the initial climb, which resulted in a loss of control and impact with terrain.

On January 31, 2012, at 1142 central standard time, a Piper Aircraft, Inc., PA-22-135 single engine airplane, N2677A, impacted terrain and obstructions during initial climb at Sheridan Municipal Airport (9M8), Sheridan, Arkansas. The airplane was registered to and operated by an individual as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The private pilot was seriously injured and the passenger suffered minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. At the time of the accident the flight was originating from 9M8 for a local flight.

During climbout the nose of the airplane started to skid sharply to the left and the pilot lowered the nose to avoid stalling. The airplane descended and impacted terrain on the left side of the runway coming to rest upright in the edge of a tree line. The impact completely separated the engine and propeller from the fuselage and there was substantial damage to both wings, the forward fuselage, and the empennage.

The pilot reported that during the initial climb the passenger had suddenly tensed up and the pilot was unable to move the rudder pedals to correct the nose-left skidding because of interference from the passenger who was stepping on the passenger side rudder controls.

The passenger reported this was his first flight ever in any aircraft and added that he was certain that his feet were clear and he was not pressing on the rudder pedals.

A postaccident examination confirmed flight control continuity and revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.




SHERIDAN, Ark. — Authorities say a small airplane has crashed while landing at an airport in central Arkansas.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer went down about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday while landing at Sheridan Municipal Airport. Lunsford says two people on board the aircraft suffered serious injuries and were transported to a hospital for treatment.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer went down about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday while landing at Sheridan Municipal Airport.

No names were immediately released.

Lunsford says authorities don't know why the plane crashed. FAA investigators are headed to the scene.

According to FAA records, the single-engine plane is registered to a Sheridan resident.

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