NTSB Identification: WPR10LA208
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 16, 2010 in North Las Vegas, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/04/2011
Aircraft: Bibbee Cozy Mark IV, registration: N68TF
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 pilot, who had recently purchased the airplane, departed with the intention of determining the minimum speed of the experimental canard equipped airplane at a light weight. He accomplished two stalls (canard only) with no abnormalities encountered. During a third stall, the main wing suddenly stalled without warning. The airplane began to sink rapidly in a level to slightly nose high attitude. The pilot immediately applied full nose down elevator as recommended in the operating handbook, but the airplane did not respond. He applied full power, but the airplane remained unresponsive in pitch. He determined that only the rudders remained mildly effective, and in response, he attempted to roll the airplane in an effort to maneuver the nose down and break the stall. After two unsuccessful attempts, the airplane remained stalled with a high sink rate. As the airplane was neared the ground, the pilot leveled the wings with rudder deflection and kept the engine at full power. The airplane impacted the ground in a level attitude, and almost immediately came to a halt.

During the postaccident inspection, the pilot reported that he found that the builder of the airplane did not install the canard at the proper angle of incidence, and failed to ensure the proper elevator control deflections. The builder also told the pilot that a mandatory plans change affecting the canard had been complied with, but according to the pilot it had not. The pilot’s operating handbook had also not been updated with a required change that would have highlighted these problems.

The pilot reported that prior to purchase he had the airplane inspected. The purpose of the inspection was to identify discrepancies; however, the inspector did not find any. The pilot reported that he learned that all of the discrepancies had been addressed in newsletters that were sent from the kit manufacturer to builders. None of the newsletters were included with any of the material that the pilot received when he purchased the airplane, and he reported that they had been out of print for four years prior to when he bought the airplane and were no longer available in written form.

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

The airplane's inability to recover from a stall due to the builder's failure to comply with design specifications and update the pilot’s operating handbook, which would have highlighted the discrepancies in the airplane's build-up.

Full narrative available

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