NTSB Identification: ERA12LA150
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 19, 2012 in Bayou La Batre, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/2013
Aircraft: M-SQUARED AIRCRAFT BREESE 2, registration: N582MS
Injuries: 1 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 student pilot and a flight instructor completed three landings without incident. The flight instructor then exited the airplane, and the student pilot performed a full-stop landing without incident. During the subsequent climb after takeoff, the airplane yawed to the right, nearly 90 degrees from the departure runway heading. The student pilot noted that he was unable to depress the left rudder pedal more than 1 or 2 inches and that the right rudder pedal moved without resistance. He also noticed that the elevator control felt "loose and sloppy." The student pilot determined that he did not have enough controllability to safely land the airplane and subsequently chose to maneuver over a field and deploy the airplane's ballistic recovery parachute system. The forward portion of the fuselage was substantially damaged upon ground contact.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the tail skid/rudder control tube was fractured. The rudder pedals were displaced during the impact with the ground; however, all connections remained intact. No other discrepancies of the flight control system were observed. Metallurgical examination of the fractured tube revealed that it failed due to bending overstress. Although it is possible that contacting the tail skid on the runway at a high-pitch attitude could produce similar loading, it is more likely that the inertial loads on the tail structure during the impact were responsible for the fracture. The airplane had been operated for 575 total hours since new and 75 hours since its most recent condition inspection, which was performed about 4 months before the accident.

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

The pilot's inability to maintain control of the airplane for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination of the rudder control system did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded control of the airplane.

Full narrative available

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