NTSB Identification: SEA00LA107.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 17, 2000 in BANKS, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: HAESSLER COSMO PHASE II, registration: N9022F
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot/owner assembled the French Cosmos Phase II single-engine, two place, experimentally registered aircraft and then modified the aircraft with the addition of a rudder. During the fourth flight a witness observed the aircraft 'out of control' and turning/descending in a nose-down attitude to ground impact. An acquaintance of the pilot reported that the pilot had confirmed with him in a conversation the day before the accident and following the third flight in the aircraft, that he was experiencing problems with controllability when using the rudder. Specifically, with the application of substantial rudder, the aircraft would initially yaw in the appropriate direction, and then begin a rapid uncommanded roll in the opposite direction (i.e., right roll with left rudder). Post-crash examination by an FAA inspector revealed that the rudder cables were connected opposite to conventional rigging practices, and that when the right rudder was applied at the foot pedals, a left deflection was observed. Additionally, the rudder pedals were observed to be jammed in the full right rudder position (right pedal forward) at the crash site, and the damage to the wing leading edges was consistent with a left spin at ground impact.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's improper installation, i.e., reversed connection, of the rudder control cables resulting in reverse rudder operation and a subsequent stall/spin. A contributing factor was the pilot's intentional design change/addition of a rudder to the aircraft.

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