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The pilot reported that shortly after take-off the elevator control jammed. He then noted that the horn end of the left elevator was hanging about eight centimetres below the horizontal stabiliser. The load was jettisoned as the pilot prepared to land but increasing difficulty was experienced in keeping the aircraft nose-up. On short final approach the left elevator separated from the aircraft but despite the lack of elevator control the aircraft was landed without further damage. Investigation revealed damage to the leading edge of the left elevator horn. It was probable that this area had been struck by an object while the elevator was in the full nose-up position, i.e. with the horn pointing downwards. The object which caused the damage was not identified, however the impact allowed the outboard hinge pin to become dislodged from its bearing. This in turn led to the jamming of the elevator controls and to the subsequent detachment of the left elevator.

Download Final Report
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General details
Date: 13 June 1985 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1555  
Location:Deer Vale (17 km West of Dorrigo) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Airframe - Other 
Release date: 10 April 1986 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: de Havilland Canada 
Aircraft model: DHC-2 
Aircraft registration: VH-IME 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Deer Vale NSW
Departure time:1555
Destination:Deer Vale NSW
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