NTSB Identification: ERA10LA330
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 18, 2010 in Freehold, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/26/2011
Injuries: 1 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 student pilot was practicing landings in a special light sport aircraft on an asphalt runway. After a soft touchdown, the nosegear collapsed and the airplane skidded approximately 30 feet before coming to rest on the runway. Examination of the wreckage revealed damage to the forward fuselage and firewall. The nosegear fork assembly separated from the nosegear strut on one end, and separated from the nosewheel on the other end. Further examination of the nosegear assembly revealed the fork of the assembly consisted of two aluminum fork leaves riveted together, which exhibited cracks. The inner fork leaf, which extended further than the outer leaf, had through holes for the wheel’s axle. The inner fork leaf was found to also have cracks on the side opposite the one that had separated. Microscopic examination revealed that the fractures on both pieces of the inner fork leaf were due to fatigue that initiated at multiple origins. Collectively, the fatigue cracks went through the thickness of the fork leaf. The large number of fatigue cracks was consistent with the nose gear fork assembly deteriorating for an extended period of time. The cracks were of a size that could be identified by visual examination. The nosegear strut exhibited slant fractures consistent with overstress. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed about 3 months, and 38 hours of operation, prior to the accident.

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

The failure of the nosegear fork assembly due to fatigue. Contributing to the accident was an inadequate recent annual inspection.

Full narrative available

Index for Jun2010 | Index of months