ntsb.gif (3044 bytes) NTSB ACCIDENT REPORT:
click here to go back

NTSB Identification: LAX03TA174

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation

Accident occurred Saturday, May 31, 2003 in SO LAKE TAHOE, CA

Aircraft: Cessna 182Q, registration: N4892N

Injuries: 1 Minor, 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On May 31, 2003, at 0617 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 182Q, N4892N, impacted terrain and came to rest inverted following an in-flight loss of control shortly after takeoff from runway 36 at the Lake Tahoe Airport, South Lake Tahoe, California. The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) operated the airplane as a public-use flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane was substantially damaged. The certified flight instructor (CFI) received minor injuries. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight to the Winnemucca Municipal Airport (WMC), Winnemucca, Nevada.

In an interview with the Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot stated that they were activated for a mission to search for a missing aircraft. They were repositioning to WMC, where the search was being coordinated. A safety briefing was conducted, in which the pilot and the CFI discussed flight duties. If a problem were to occur, the CFI would take the flight controls and fly the airplane.

The pilot conducted a normal preflight that included checking the fuel, oil, and flight control surfaces. They got into the airplane, and he started the engine according to the airplane's approved checklist. He again checked the flight controls, with no discrepancies encountered. He taxied the airplane to runway 36, conducted a run-up, and set the mixture per the takeoff checklist.

The pilot applied the throttle as the airplane rolled out onto the runway. He called airspeed "alive" between 40-50 knots, and then called the airplane off the ground (60 knots). He flattened the nose to gain airspeed; the nose pitched up, and he pushed the yoke forward to lower the nose. The airplane remained in a nose high attitude. At that point the CFI called "my plane," and he responded with "your plane." The pilot stated that the CFI flew the airplane from that point on. He indicated that she pushed the yoke forward and "shook" the airplane to try and loosen the flight controls.

The nose high condition remained and the pilot assisted the CFI by raising the flaps and helping to keep the yoke in the forward position. He indicated that the rear passenger moved forward to see if the weight redistribution would help. The airplane was now beyond the airport environment. They also retarded the throttle to reduce engine power; however, the engine kept running.

The nose wheel struck bushes and was sheared off. The airplane landed in a soft wet field where the nose landing gear dug into the dirt and the airplane nosed over. The pilot stated that they conducted the emergency procedures to evacuate the airplane. According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who examined the airplane on scene, the elevator down cable turnbuckle safety wire was cut. He the found the cable out of the turnbuckle and lying on floor of the empennage. The elevator up cable turnbuckle safety wire was also cut; however, it was still attached to the turnbuckle.