NTSB Identification: ATL05LA023.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 14, 2004 in Sewanee, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/2006
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-31ATC, registration: N4088B
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 pilot stated that the airplane touched down normally on the main wheels during landing, but when the nosewheel touched down, the airplane veered "violently" to the left. The pilot's attempt to gain control of the airplane with brake and rudder inputs was unsuccessful, and it veered off the runway and struck a parked airplane. A single, heavy black skid mark extended from the runway centerline, off the left side of the runway, and continued as a gouge through the grass and past the parked airplane that was struck. The accident airplane's nose landing gear lower drag strut assembly was damaged, and the rod end spring assembly was separated into pieces. The mechanic who disassembled and examined the nose landing gear assembly after the accident stated that the overcenter spring on the drag strut may have broken on landing, allowing the nosewheel to retract 8 to 12 inches and making the nosewheel steering inoperative. Metallurgical examination of the lower drag strut assembly and the two separated pieces of the rod end spring assembly revealed no evidence of corrosion or fatigue; the fracture surface features and deformation were consistent with overload.

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

The pilot's improper flare during landing, which resulted in the overload and collapse of the nose landing gear and subsequent on-ground loss of control of the airplane (aircraft control not possible) and collision with a parked airplane.

Full narrative available

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