NTSB Identification: SEA07CA032.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 01, 2006 in Point Roberts, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2007
Aircraft: Riley D-16A, registration: N119N
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, during the takeoff roll at about rotation speed, he felt the nose landing gear of the airplane "give way" and the airplane began to drift to the left. As he applied right rudder to correct the yaw, he felt "a continued collapse" of the nose landing gear and elected to abort the takeoff. The airplane's nose and both propellers struck the ground. Examination of photos provided by an insurance adjustor revealed that both engines were displaced down and to the right. The right engine firewall was torn from the engine nacelle, and the left engine firewall was buckled and distorted. Additionally, the photos revealed that the nose landing gear fork had broken into two pieces, which allowed the nose wheel to separate from the airplane, resulting in collapse of the nose landing gear. The pilot reported that "an aircraft structural engineer made the observation that my nose gear fork had an old hidden crack that could have contributed to the failure."

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

the pre-existing crack in the nose wheel fork, which allowed separation of the nose wheel during the takeoff roll, resulting in collapse of the nose landing gear.

Full narrative available

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