Both (Pilots) Tried To Move The Control Stick To The Left, But It Would Not Move

Location: Worcester, MA Accident Number: ERA21LA177
Date & Time: April 6, 2021, 15:00 Local Registration: N61EF
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Instructional

On April 6, 2021, about 1500 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Bushby Mustang M II, N61EF, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Worcester, Massachusetts. The flight instructor and the pilot were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

The commercial pilot, who was the new owner of the airplane, stated that he hired the flight instructor to ferry the airplane from Fresno, California to Worcester Regional Airport (ORH), Worcester, Massachusetts. Then the flight instructor was then to provide 3 hours of dual instruction before owner’s insurance coverage would be effective. He further stated that on the day of the accident, the flight instructor had him perform three high-speed taxis to demonstrate directional control. The flight instructor was pleased with the control shown and cleared him for flight. During takeoff, about 6 feet above ground level, the airplane began a roll to the right. The commercial pilot stated he applied left aileron control but there was no movement to the left with the control stick. He told the flight instructor about the problem and they both tried to move the control stick to the left, but it would not move. At this point, the commercial pilot aborted the takeoff and tried to land the airplane in the grass to the right side of the runway. Both main landing gears collapsed, and the airplane slid to a stop. They shut down the electrical system, shut off the fuel and egressed the airplane. Neither of the two were injured.

The flight instructor’s description of the accident flight was consistent with that provided by the commercial pilot.

The wreckage was examined after the accident by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. The inspector found that both propeller blades were bent aft about 5 inches from the tip. Both main landing gear struts were fractured at the trunnion. The right main landing gear was displaced upward and through the wing. An attempt to cycle the control stick was unsuccessful with binding in movement to the left. Examination of the left aileron bellcrank and push/pull rod revealed that the rod was contacting the access hole in the aft spar. The rivets that held the threaded insert into the rod were contacting the edge of the spar and binding. After disconnecting the left aileron push/pull rod from the bellcrank, the control stick moved freely in the full range of motion.