Swearingen SA-226TC, Denver, April 5, 2006–The NTSB blamed the accident on the failure of the elevator down cable due to improper routing. A factor was the improper inspection of the elevator cable by maintenance personnel. The installation caused the cable to wear against a guide until it failed.
Before takeoff from Denver International Airport, the ATP-rated pilot of the Key Lime Air Swearingen checked the controls. At 80 to 85 knots during the takeoff roll, he “noticed pitch seemed very light.” When he pulled back on the yoke to rotate, the airplane took off and the “yoke came all the way back and the aircraft began to quickly pitch upward.” The pilot said pushing the yoke forward had no effect and “it felt disconnected from the elevators.” He trimmed nose down and reduced power, telling ATC that he had a flight control problem and wanted to return for landing. He landed successfully.