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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.

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General details
Date: 08 May 2008 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1716 EST  
Location   (show map):Camden Aerodrome NSW W/19 km Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales Occurrence type: Flight control systems 
Release date: 24 June 2009 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Serious Incident 
 Highest injury level: None 
 
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
 
 
 
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Last update 14 November 2018