NTSB Identification: LAX96LA269.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 08, 1996 in GROVELAND, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: BOWLES/IRWIN QUESTAIR VENTURE, registration: N65V
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the experimental, amateur-built airplane, reported that his landing and initial rollout on runway 27 was uneventful. However, as the airplane decelerated he lost directional control. According to the pilot, he applied left rudder pedal and 'a little' left brake pressure to correct his alignment, but the airplane did not adequately respond. He further stated that he then 'made the mistake of moving the steering lever' to redirect the airplane, and he 'over controlled.' At this time, the airplane veered toward the left side of the runway and the pilot turned the steering lever to the right. The pilot again over controlled, and the airplane veered right exiting off the right side of the runway and into the ground. He further reported that he believes the design of the airplane was faulty in that the nose wheel was constructed too close to the main landing gear, and the three wheels formed an equilateral triangle. Also, the nose steering mechanism allowed too much play, and the airplane's steering was sensitive. In a crosswind, the weathercocking force allowed the nose wheel fork to turn and angle the airplane toward the edge of the runway. At the time of the accident the wind was from 290 degrees at 8 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot's failure to maintain directional control while landing in a crosswind. A contributing factor was related to the airplane's steering/handling characteristics.

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