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Old 12-22-2006, 03:02 PM
g-man's Avatar
g-man g-man is offline
Frank Geter
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Fort Collins Colorado
Posts: 70
Default Causes of Cozy Fatalities

Because of my own curiosity, I have started a new thread in hopes of getting more information on the known or speculated causes of the three Cozy accidents reported in the NTSB database that resulted in fatalities. Links to the NTSB reports are provided below:

JAMES B. EDWARDS COZY, registration: N151JE

LARSON, C.H. COZY MK IV, registration: N5037

Grandman COZY, registration: N41CZ

The Larson accident seems rather obvious. He got to low and snagged a power line.

The Grandman accident looks like high winds may have been a contributing factor. Obviously the pilot must have lost control during landing.

The Edwards accident is the most curious to me. I wonder if he got into a deep stall. I wish the investigators had or could have done a post accident weight and balance. A witness said:

" The witness said that he observed the airplane flying toward the northeast " . . . just barely above the cottonwood and weeping willow trees . . . ." The airplane was between 50 and 60 feet above the ground in a nose-high attitude when the engine revved up to full power; both wings were " . . . rocking and (the) nose (was) oscillating side to side . . . ." The airplane was traveling at a slow airspeed."

It sounds to me like he may have been in a deep stall and was trying to rock the plane to get out of it. However, the plane slid for 114 yards so it had plenty of forward velocity at the time impact so it may have not been a deep stall.

Overall, the Cozy has one of the best fatality safety records compared to other aircraft as reported on another thread and repeated here. According to what I could quickly can be glean from the NTSB database:

Barracuda, 1 out 7 were fatal (14%)
Velociy, 11 out of 49 were fatal (22%)
Cozy, 3 out of 13 were fatal. (23%)
Mustang II, 20 out of 68 were fatal. (29%)
Pulsar, 5 out of 16 were fatal. (31%)
RV (All models), 117 out of 380. (31%)
Glasair, 39 out of 100 were fatal (39%)
Wittman Tailwind (both W-10 and W-8), 10 out of 25 were fatal (40%)
Lancair, 52 out 120 were fatal (43%)
Tango II, 2 out 4 were fatal (50%)
GP-4, 3 out of 5 were fatal (60%)


p.s I found the following by searching the Cozy mailing list regarding the Edwards accident. Looks like pilot error in judgment.

Date: Jan 1, 1995 12:00 PM
From: Nat Puffer


The purpose in investigating and reporting on accidents and/or incidents is to
try to determine the cause and share this with our builders in the hope that
it might save someone else from having a similar occurrence.

We were very saddened to learn of the fatal accident of one of our Cozy
builders and friend, James Edwards, at Skull Valley AZ on September 21,1994.
We had printed a picture of his newly completed Cozy and his first flight
report in our last newsletter. Jim had done his initial flight testing at Love
Field in Prescott AZ, which has a nice, long, wide, hard-surfaced runway.
Shortly after he wrote to us (he had logged 7.5 hours of flight time then), he
decided to fly his Cozy to a strip at Skull Valley, where he had a hangar, to
do some work on the aircraft. The private strip (we would not describe it as a
runway) at Skull Valley is close to 5000' elevation, is dirt and gravel, is
less than 3000' long, is quite narrow, and is surrounded by desert brush. It
is noted for its squirrely cross winds. It might be okay for ultralights, but
definitely not suitable for a high performance aircraft, even with a highly
proficient pilot.

Cozy builder Ken Baer, Long EZ builder Harry Bawcom and the writer helped the
FAA investigate the accident. The Cozy was not lined up with the strip prior
to touchdown, and should have gone around. Instead, it touched down in the
brush to the right of the strip, in a left bank, evidenced by the left lower
winglet dragging on the strip. Shortly after touchdown, the nose gear
collapsed (but not the main gear). Power must have been on, because the
aircraft traveled 114 yards on its nose through the brush until the left wing
struck a large clump of mesquite, which tore off the wing, ruptured the fuel
strake, and flipped the aircraft upside down. The engine must still have been
running after the airplane overturned, because both blades of the propeller
were broken off near the hub. The spilled fuel ignited and the aircraft was
almost totally consumed in the ensuing fire. The lessons to be learned:

1. Do not attempt to operate a Cozy off a short, unimproved strip.
2. If you are not lined up with the center of a runway, abort the landing
and go around.
3. If you have to make an off-field landing, cut the master switch and
ignition switch prior to touchdown.

From the Cosy Europe Newsletter.-

Cozy OE-CYZ, built by the Perktold family in Austria, was being flight tested
by an experienced pilot, Valentino Fry. All systems were working well and the
new Cozy was flying as advertised. It was noticed, however, that once in a
while, after periods of idle throttle, the throttle would stick. The throttle
cable was checked and rerouted. Also, the carburetor was removed and
overhauled at a certified overhaul shop, but no problem was noted. The
carburetor was reinstalled on the engine and the cable checked for freedom.
Everything seemed OK. Valentino then test flew the Cozy for over 1/2 hour with
multiple power changes from full to idle with no problem. He re-entered the
traffic pattern at Innsbruck, and was instructed to extend his final because
of other traffic. On his extended final, he tried to add power, but nothing
happened. He couldn't make the runway or clear a river just before the runway
threshold. His only choices were a small cornfield and a small patch of grass.
He slipped the Cozy down to a hard landing in the cornfield. The nose gear
collapsed, the main gear was torn off, and the Cozy slid onto the grass,
coming to a stop about 15' before the trees lining the river. Luckily, the
pilot walked away with shaky knees and only a few bruises. Afterwards it was
found that the throttle was stuck in idle, and it took a lot of force to free
it. Once freed, it could be moved back and forth, but if it was left still for
a while, it was hard to move again. The reason for the throttle sticking, if
determined, was not reported.

Lessons to be learned:

1. Do not fly the airplane if there is any question about whether the
engine is working properly.
2. On the first flight after engine work, stay in the pattern and maintain
enough altitude to make the runway if the engine quits.
3. On approach, clear the engine periodically by applying power.
4. If you have an engine failure at low altitude, land straight ahead.

Last edited by g-man : 12-22-2006 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 12-22-2006, 04:36 PM
cptomes cptomes is offline
Yet Another Newbie
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Iowa
Posts: 100

need to edit post, larson and edwards links are the same url.
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:41 PM
g-man's Avatar
g-man g-man is offline
Frank Geter
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Fort Collins Colorado
Posts: 70

Originally Posted by cptomes View Post
need to edit post, larson and edwards links are the same url.
Thanks, done

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