NTSB Identification: SEA01LA151.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 15, 2001 in Jerome, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/24/2002
Aircraft: Pitts Special SC-1, registration: N8351
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, who had just bought the airplane, reported that after a "perfect" three-point landing, the aircraft began a slow drift to the right. He reported that he applied left rudder pedal to counteract the right drift, with no response. He stated that he then added more left rudder, still with no response. The pilot reported that he then applied left brake, but did not get any braking action. The aircraft subsequently departed the runway at a speed estimated by the pilot at about 35 MPH. The left main landing gear then hit a hole and the aircraft came to rest, nose down, about 25 feet off the right side of the runway near the runway exit point. A post-accident inspection disclosed that the left rudder could deflect about 50 to 55 degrees, with maximum right rudder deflection measured at 30 degrees. Full design rudder travel is 30 degrees in either direction. With the rudder at 50 to 55 degrees, the rudder pedal rests against the firewall, preventing the left brake from being applied. The pilot reported that the aircraft received an annual inspection by the previous owner (a certificated airframe and powerplant mechanic) on the date of sale, in July 2001. Follow-up interviews with the previous owner/mechanic and the accident pilot disclosed that the previous owner/mechanic was aware of an anomaly which prevented braking from being applied with rudder pedal deflected at the time he performed the annual inspection, and that he informed the pilot of this anomaly on the day the sale took place.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during landing. Factors included: an incorrectly manufactured or adjusted rudder travel setting, resulting in restricted movement of the left brake; the mechanic's failure to adjust the rudder travel to the correct tolerance; and the pilot's operation of the aircraft with a known equipment deficiency.

Full narrative available

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