NTSB Identification: CEN12LA410
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 29, 2012 in Centerburg, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/13/2013
Aircraft: STEVEN BORNSTEIN/THOMAS WHITTA ZENITH, registration: N701ZN
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 performed a low approach to the runway and added engine power to go around. As the pilot added engine power, the airplane began to yaw left. To correct the airplane’s yaw, the pilot attempted to depress the right rudder pedal, but he was unable to move the pedal. The airplane was headed for trees, and the pilot added power in an attempt to takeoff and climb over them; however, the airplane struck the “uppermost” branches. The pilot then reduced engine power and performed a forced landing in a shallow pond. An examination of the airplane did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal rudder operation. The two sets of rudder pedals were separated by 1.5 inches, and the pilot had only 3 hours in the accident make and model airplane. Although it is possible that the pilot's right foot inadvertently contacted the left rudder controls and restricted the rudder pedal movement, the investigation was unable to determine the cause of the impeded rudder movement.

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

The pilot’s inability to actuate the airplane’s rudder during an attempted go-around for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Full narrative available

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