MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — A federal report says a small private plane that crashed in South Carolina last month, killing the pilot, had a key part installed upside down and backward after maintenance. Authorities say 60-year-old James Harper died in the May 21 crash of his Piper PA-31 just after taking off from Myrtle Beach International Airport. He was a pilot with American Airlines. The preliminary accident report says the small plane’s primary and secondary flight controls had been removed, painted and reinstalled two days before the crash. Investigators looking at the wreckage of the plane found the elevator trim tabs were installed upside down and backward. The tabs when installed properly help pilots maintain a steady climb or decent without a lot of force.
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