NTSB Identification: SEA07LA093.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 04, 2007 in East Wenatchee, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2007
Aircraft: Champion 7ECA, registration: N6096F
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 reported that as the aircraft lifted off of the runway, he heard a "sound" from behind the passenger seat. The pilot received a radio call from another aircraft informing him that the "left landing gear did not look right." The pilot could not see the left landing gear leg from his seat, so he made a low, slow pass over an observer on the ground, who informed him via radio that the landing gear was "detached from the strut and dangling from the center of the fuselage." The pilot circled around and made a precautionary landing. The aircraft momentarily touched down on just the right main wheel and tail wheel, and then the left wing lowered and contacted the runway. The pilot was unable to maintain directional control, and the aircraft ground looped to the left, coming to a rest in an upright position. Post-accident inspection of the aircraft by one of the owners revealed that the left landing gear lock nut was missing a lock nut set screw. According to the owner, without the set screw it is possible that the lock nut could have unthreaded, which would have allowed the cylinder assembly to separate from the axle strut assembly.

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

Separation of the left main landing gear shock absorbing strut during takeoff. A missing screw was a factor.

Full narrative available

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