NTSB Identification: MIA05LA043.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 17, 2004 in Lakeland, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 172S, registration: N375LP
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 after takeoff the flight proceeded towards the destination airport, but he elected to perform a touch-and-go landing at the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. The flight was cleared for the touch-and-go landing on runway 09, and after touchdown on the centerline of the runway, the airplane bounced 1-2 feet, then touched down again. The airplane began slowly drifting to the left which he was unable to correct with right rudder input. He applied power to go around, then elected to stay on the ground, and with right rudder applied, the airplane departed the left side of the runway. The airplane collided with a taxiway sign causing separation of the nose landing gear. The airplane then came to rest and the occupants exited the airplane. A surface weather observation (METAR) report taken on the airport approximately 4 minutes after the accident indicates the wind was from 030 degrees at 4 knots. Examination of the left and right steering tube assemblies was performed by personnel from Cessna Aircraft Company, with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversight. The examination revealed the tube (P/N 0543021-1) of both steering tube assemblies were fractured due to overstress at the formed bead; deformation of the tubes was noted at the fracture location. Additionally, the left "Bearing-rod end" P/N S1823-3 had fractured at the location of the first thread. The fracture surface was examined by the NTSB Materials Laboratory which revealed it fractured due to "bending overstress." According to the Director of Maintenance of the operator, there was no record that either steering tube assemblies being replaced since airplane was manufactured on April 30, 2003. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated approximately 884 hours since overhaul.

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

The faulure of the pilot to maintain directional control of the aircraft during the landing roll resulting in the on-ground collision with a taxiway sign and subsequent collapse of the nose landing gear.

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