The private pilot reported that, shortly after takeoff for the personal flight, the Piper PA-18A began to yaw left.
He applied right rudder input in an attempt to regain yaw control, however the airplane did not respond.
He initiated a forced landing near Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. The airplane hit the ground in a nose-down attitude, and then came to rest oriented about 90° perpendicular to the runway.
Postaccident examination revealed that the forward right rudder cable, between the front and rear seats, had detached at the rear seat foot pedal connection. The cable had pulled through its swage sleeve, indicating that the swage had not been adequately compressed. The cable appeared to have been recently replaced, however, during a review of maintenance records, no logbook entry was found documenting the replacement.
Probable cause: The loss of yaw control due to an inadequately compressed rudder swage, which resulted from inadequate maintenance and led to the separation of the forward right rudder cable.
NTSB Identification: WPR17LA102
This May 2017 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.