NTSB Identification: FTW97IA120.
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Scheduled 14 CFR
Incident occurred Tuesday, March 04, 1997 in ABILENE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/1998
Aircraft: Swearingen SA227-AC, registration: N373PH
Injuries: 12 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.
Landing runways were 17L and 22. The crew requested runway 35R. During the landing roll, when the first officer engaged the nose wheel steering, the airplane made an unexpected left turn. The crew applied right rudder and right brake; however, the airplane exited the runway. Winds were from the S/SW at 12 knots gusting to 24 knots. No previous discrepancies for the nose wheel steering were noted. During a postincident maintenance taxi check, the 'aircraft made a left turn that increased it's rate rapidly.' Maintenance personnel removed and replaced the #4 brake assembly, repaired a shorting wire at the nose wheel steering power lever switch, and replaced the power lever switch. The company computed a 13 knot tailwind (company limit 10 kts) and stated that skid marks on the runway 'seem to indicate a high rate of speed very late in the landing roll.' When the nose wheel steering actuator was removed and tested, no discrepancies were found. The director of operations commented that the incident 'would not have occurred had the aircraft been landed into the wind' and that 'possible inadvertent disconnection of the steering system was [a] contributing factor.'
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: The flightcrew's failure to maintain aircraft control. Factors were the tailwind and a partial nosewheel steering failure. Full narrative available
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