NTSB Identification: MIA05LA062.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, February 22, 2005 in Daytona Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2005
Aircraft: Howard Aircraft DGA-15, registration: N68431
Injuries: 4 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 this was going to be the third landing of the day. The landing was made to the southwest runway 23, which is a published 4000 ft long, by 176 ft wide. During the landing, the touchdown was "normal", with a slight skip. On the landing roll the airplane traveled down the runway for about 25 to 30 feet, and he felt the left side drop "slightly", and without warning the airplane veered to the right. He applied full left rudder and left brake several times to compensate for the right veer. The airplane continued to the right, and the right main landing gear went off the side of the runway. The airplane's heading changed 40 degrees to the right, as the airplane's left main landing gear collapsed and went under the fuselage causing the left wing to strike the ground. The left wing and the left underside of the forward fuselage incurred damage as the airplane departed the runway. The airplane came to a stop partially off and perpendicular to the runway. The FAA inspector who responded to the accident stated that both brake calipers were dry with no evidence of leaking fluid. The right wheel turned freely and the left wheel turned freely when the wheel pant was bent away from the left wheel. Both brake calipers moved freely in the slider pin bushings. The inside of the airplane's left main landing gear strut was inspected and internal rust and deterioration was found in the lower portion of the landing gear strut steel tube where it had broken. The pilot stated later, that an inspection of the left main landing strut revealed a substantial amount of rust inside the lower portion of the left main strut. The drag strut separated at the drain hole of the landing gear strut where it attaches to the left main landing gear oleo, consistent with the drain hole being obstructed for a period of time.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Maintenance personnel failure to detect corrosion in the landing gear strut, resulting in the gear collapsing during landing and damage to the airplane. Full narrative available
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