The pilot submitted a written statement and partook in numerous conversations with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. The pilot reported that while en route on a cross-country flight, he attempted to stabilize the airplane via the trim in an effort to compensate for his weight [on the left side of the airplane]. He manipulated the wing leveler knob and it subsequently fell off. While struggling to replace the knob and tighten it to the attach point, the pilot turned it left. In response, the airplane became configured with a left wing-down tendency that he was unable to correct.

The pilot further stated that while attempting to land at the destination airport, he had to input full right-stick deflection and left rudder to maintain straight flight. He made a low approach and opted to perform a go-around. On the pilot's second landing attempt, the airplane touched down hard and bounced, continuing off the left side of the runway. The airplane incurred substantial damage to the canard during the accident sequence. The pilot had amassed 1.5 hours in the same make and model as the accident airplane.

The pilot reported no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine prior to the accident, with the exception of the improperly safetied knob.

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