NTSB Identification: LAX02LA015
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 27, 2001 in Perris, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Thomson Harmon Rocket II, registration: N325L
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The amateur-built airplane nosed over during a forced landing in a soft field following the partial failure of the aileron and elevator control system. The two pilots flew the tandem seat airplane as part of the Phase 1 flight testing requirements following the completion of the experimental airplane's manufacture. At the conclusion of the flight test, the pilots noticed that there was something wrong with the flight controls when they went to return to their departure airport. The pilots determined that they had no aileron control and limited elevator control by use of the electric trim, but maintained rudder control. They elected to land in a field that would allow a straight in approach. The approach and landing were uneventful until the landing gear wheels dug into the soft dirt, resulting in the airplane nosing over. The FAA inspector, who examined the airplane following the accident, reported that the bolt and nut that connect the aileron and elevator control tubes to the airframe were not in place. The airplane accumulated 6.9 flight hours since its manufacture and special airworthiness certification issuance. The rear-seat pilot was the airplane's builder.

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

the airplane builder's failure to properly install a bolt and nut into the aileron and elevator flight control system. A contributing factor was the soft terrain conditions for the ensuing forced landing.

Full narrative available

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