This April 2009 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Champion 7HC. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Centre, Ala. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: According to witnesses, the airplane lifted off and reached an altitude of approximately 20 to 50 feet above ground, then rolled steeply to the left. The airplane crashed into power lines and a house and burst into flames.
The post-crash examination revealed that the right rudder pedal control tube was missing the rod attachment bolt, retainer nut, and cotter pin. According to the airplane manufacturer, the push-pull tube system discovered during the examination was not installed at the factory and no record of the installation was located in the airframe logbooks. Examination of the engine, additional flight control system components, and the aircraft structure revealed no evidence of pre-impact mechanical failure or malfunction.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inability to maintain aircraft control during climb due to an improperly installed rudder pedal control tube.
For more information: NTSB.gov