NTSB Identification: FTW97LA031.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, October 30, 1996 in MCKINNEY, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/21/1997
Aircraft: Beech BE-19, registration: N5102R
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 student pilot was endorsed for repeated solo flights and was performing a touch-and-go landing on runway 17. He reported that on final approach, he maintained an airspeed of 70 to 75 knots with full flaps, and that the approach path followed the VASI. He said that while landing, the airplane touched down about midfield, and subsequently, with all 3 wheels on the runway, he retracted the flaps, pushed the carburetor heat to 'COLD,' and reached for the throttle to apply power for the departure. The student pilot stated that at this point, 'the airplane brakes were binding, the airplane exited the left side of the runway, continued through the grass, and stopped after the left wing struck a tree.' An FAA inspector, who examined the accident site, found that the student was using a personal fold-up seat/cushion that was about 5 inches thick. During the investigation, the inspector had the student pilot sit in the airplane. The inspector observed that the 'extra height caused his knees to contact the lower part of the instrument panel and hindered his ankle movement for proper rudder and brake action.' The inspector did not find 'any evidence of brake problems.'

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

the pilot's inadequate preflight planning/preparation, by selecting a seat/cushion that would not allow adequate knee clearance and ankle movement in the cockpit, which was subsequently attributed to the pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll.

Full narrative available

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