NTSB Identification: CEN10LA210
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 11, 2010 in Three Rivers, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/12/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N3470R
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.

During a touch-and-go landing, the airplane veered to the left and the flight instructor attempted to correct to the right thinking the student applied the left brake. However, the airplane continued to veer to the left and the right wing struck the terrain. The airplane continued off the runway and came to rest in a field. Examination of the airplane revealed that the left aft spar was bent and fractured, the left main landing gear separated, and the main landing landing gear torque link was fractured. An NTSB Materials Laboratory examination of the torque link revealed the fracture face contained crack arrest marks typical of fatigue cracking that emanated from multiple origins at the surface of the wall on both sides of the link. The fatigue origin areas contained no evidence of gouge damage or corrosion damage. The fatigue cracks were the result of lateral stress produced during landing and taxi operations. Hardness testing of the material produced values greater than the minimum hardness value.

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

The pilot's inability to maintain directional control during landing due to the failure of the left main landing gear torque link as a result of fatigue.

Full narrative available

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