NTSB Identification: ANC02LA099.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Monday, August 19, 2002 in Palmer, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2003
Aircraft: Maule M-7-235, registration: N897M
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.

The commercial pilot was landing the tundra-tire equipped airplane atop a mountain ridge. During the landing roll on the rough and uneven terrain, the right main landing gear axle broke allowing the right wheel to separate from the airplane. The airplane pivoted to the right, and the left wing struck the ground. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. Following retrieval of the airplane, an FAA airworthiness inspector examined the broken axle. He reported that a visual inspection of the broken landing gear axle revealed that the fracture traveled through a drilled hole in the axle. The FAA inspector said that the drilled hole is used when the airplane has a wheel/ski kit installed. He added that there was a substantial amount of corrosion and rust within and around the fracture surface. The operator reported that the time in service of the failed landing gear axle was about 2,500 hours, and the time since inspection was about 1,800 hours.

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

The fracture of the right main landing gear axle during landing roll. Factors associated with the accident were corrosion of the landing gear axle, failure of company maintenance personnel to adequately inspect the axle and detect the corrosion, and rough and uneven terrain.







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