NTSB Identification: CHI00LA278.
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Accident occurred Thursday, August 31, 2000 in DES MOINES, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/17/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-236, registration: N451X
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot experienced a left main gear brake fire while taxiing for takeoff. He reported that while taxing the airplane slowed "as if it were taxiing uphill, or a brake were dragging" so he added about 100 rpm of power to continue taxiing. The pilot reported, "When I attempted to set the brakes to check the engine and instruments, I found that I had no brakes." The pilot then requested a taxi clearance back to the fixed base operator on the airport to get the brakes checked. Another pilot on the same frequency announced to the pilot of N451X that his airplane was on fire. The pilot reported that he looked and saw dense, dark smoke coming from under the left wing. He shut down the engine, turned all switches off, and exited the airplane. The pilot reported the fire was in the area of the left landing gear almost directly under the left wing fuel tank. Hydraulic fluid was found on the ramp where the airplane had been parked for several days prior to the accident. The exact origin of the fluid leak could not be determined because of the extent of fire damage to the landing gear.

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

A hydraulic fluid leak which resulted in a landing gear brake fire.

Full narrative available

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