Aviation safety investigations & reports

American Champion Aircraft Corp 7GCBC, VH-MWY, Camden Aerodrome NSW W/19 km

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 8 May 2008, the pilot of an American Champion Aircraft (ACA) 'Citabria', model 7GCBC (registered VH-MWY), was returning to Camden Aerodrome, NSW, after a local area flight, when the upper elevator control cable fractured. The pilot was able to maintain control of the aircraft's pitch attitude using wing flaps, and subsequently landed the aircraft safely, with only minor damage to the propeller.

Laboratory examination of the failed cable found the failure (and an adjacent area of significant damage) to have developed from the progressive fatigue cracking of individual cable wires in locations where the cable passed over guide sheaves. The examination also determined that the cable had not been manufactured to conform with the requirements of the accepted standard for aircraft control cables (MIL-DTL-83420).

From 2005, the aircraft manufacturer changed its internal procedures to require that only cable manufactured and certified to MIL-DTL-83420 be used for new aircraft production. Following the cable failure, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) published an Airworthiness Bulletin (AWB), highlighting the issues associated with the use of non-MIL standard cables in aircraft control applications, and recommended that owners and maintainers of American Champion Aircraft ensure that periodic inspections are conducted with appropriate veracity.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 1.11MB]
General details
Date: 08 May 2008   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1716 EST   Investigation level: Systemic - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Camden Aerodrome NSW W/19 km    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Flight control systems  
Release date: 24 June 2009   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer American Champion Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model 7  
Aircraft registration VH-MWY  
Serial number 1347-2003  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Departure point Camden, NSW  
Departure time 1630 EST  
Destination Camden, NSW  
Last update 03 April 2020