NTSB Identification: LAX96LA327.
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Accident occurred Monday, September 02, 1996 in KERNVILLE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/05/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N5480F
Injuries: 3 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.

After landing, the pilot applied the brakes only to discover that he had no braking action. Nearing the departure end of the runway, he realized he no longer had enough runway to take off and attempted to turn off instead. After leaving the runway, the aircraft struck a pile of rocks. Witnesses stated that the approach and landing seemed normal until it became obvious that the aircraft was neither stopping nor going around. An inspection revealed that a brake line fitting had been stripped and that there was no brake fluid in the system. In the opinion of the aircraft manufacturer, the aircraft was in a position to go around at the time the brake failure was discovered. The runway was clean and dry with no visible skid marks.

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

brake failure due to a stripped brake fitting that allowed the brake fluid to leak out of the system. The failure of maintenance personnel to detect and repair the faulty brake line during the last 100-hour inspection, and the pilot's failure to perform a go-around were factors in this accident.

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