The pilot had recently purchased the Zodiac CH-650, an experimental amateur-built airplane. He was flying with a flight instructor to gain flight experience in the airplane.
He reported he made a normal left hand pattern and approach to the runway at the airport in Greeley, Colorado.
During the flare, he attempted to maneuver the airplane to the right using aileron and right rudder inputs. He said the rudder would not move and he focused on the rudder problem.
The airplane rolled out on the runway in a “sideways motion,” the nose landing gear collapsed, and the plane came to rest nose down on the runway.
After exiting the airplane, the pilot and instructor observed an auxiliary electrical plug had lodged behind the right rudder pedal and had jammed it.
The flight instructor’s safety recommendation, in part, stated, “This could have been prevented by stowing all movable items before and during flight to keep them away from the flight controls.”
Probable cause: The pilot was unable to maintain directional control during the landing due to the foreign object that lodged behind the rudder.
NTSB Identification: CEN15CA159
This February 2015 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.