NTSB Identification: CEN09CA020
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 11, 2008 in Lufkin, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/03/2008
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-181, registration: N764C
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.

During the landing rollout the airplane's right brake failed and the airplane departed the runway into a ditch, and subsequently impacted a fence. The airplane came to rest in an upright position and the student pilot was able to exit the airplane unassisted. During the accident the airplane's wings sustained substantial damage. The pilot reported that prior to initial taxi for the practice flight the airplane's hand brake and right brake pedal felt "spongy." Both became firm after he pumped them several times. Before the engine run-up the student pilot again attempted to activate the hand brake; however, he was only successful after pumping it several times. The pilot then elected to takeoff.

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

The student pilot's improper decision to takeoff with a known brake problem. Contributing to the accident were the malfunctioning brake and the rough terrain in the excursion area.

Full narrative available

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