NTSB Identification: CHI03LA011.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 20, 2002 in Plymouth, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-300, registration: N56655
Injuries: 2 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 airplane received substantial damage when it struck a visual approach slope indicator light after a loss of control during landing. A fire subsequently erupted and was extinguished by the pilot and airport personnel. The pilot reported that during the landing his right brake was not working. He stated that he attempted to stop using the left brake and compensating with rudder. The aircraft veered to the right, departed the runway, and struck a visual approach slope indicator light. The pilot stated he had maintenance performed on the brakes twice in the previous 2 months, at which time the mechanic bled the lines and added fluid. He stated that he had flown the airplane the day before with no problems. Subsequent to the accident, a seal in the brake master cylinder was found defective.

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

The pilot not maintaining directional control during landing and the inoperative right main landing gear brake. Contributing factors were the failed brake master cylinder seal, resulting in a hydraulic leak, the inadequate preflight by the pilot, the fuel fire, and the pilot intentionally operating the airplane with a known brake system problem.

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