On May 27, 2004, at 1420 eastern daylight time, a homebuilt Avid Heavy Hauler, N5139W, was destroyed during a forced landing after departing from the Fitchburg Municipal Airport (FIT), Fitchburg, Massachusetts. The certificated private pilot and passenger were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, during initial climb out after departing the airport, he began to experience problems with the elevator control. He elected to return to the airport; however, he could not control the descent rate. As the airplane neared the ground, the pilot realized that he would not be able to land on the runway, and performed a forced landing to a field. After touching down in the field, the airplane impacted a fence, and subsequently caught fire.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, after it was moved to a recovery facility, revealed that the airplane sustained extensive fire damage. The airframe and its associated components were also beginning to rust. Continuity of the flight control system was confirmed; however, it was noted that the flight control tube, which was inserted into the elevator control linkage tube, was "floating," and not secured. Due to the damage to the airframe, the inspector could not determine if the tubing was secured prior to the accident.

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