NTSB Identification: WPR14LA179
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 30, 2014 in Bremerton, WA
Aircraft: COULTER HUGH CLARKE PULSAR XP SERIES I, registration: N452PC
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 30, 2014, about 1055 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Pulsar XP, N452PC, sustained substantial damage on landing at Bremerton National Airport (PWT), Bremerton, Washington. The pilot-owner was not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no FAA flight plan was filed for the flight.

According to the pilot, he was also the builder of the kit airplane. The airplane was based at PWT. The pilot took off about 1000 for a local flight. While airborne, he received a radio call from Avian Flight Center, a fixed base operator (FBO) at PWT. FBO personnel informed him that they had been made aware that a passer-by had seen something fall from an airplane, which was subsequently identified as a nose landing gear (NLG), and that the FBO believed that the NLG possibly belonged to N452PC. The pilot returned to PWT and conducted a flyby, to allow the FBO personnel to examine the airplane. They confirmed that N452PC had lost its NLG. The FBO then coordinated with the pilot to postpone landing until the airport could be closed to other traffic, and fire/rescue personnel could be present. After waiting about 30 minutes, the pilot was given permission to land. He landed with full flaps, as slowly as he could. The airplane landed normally, settled on the NLG strut, and stopped on the runway.

According to the pilot, he completed constructing and first flew the airplane in 1998, and had put about 811 hours on it since then. The airplane was equipped with a Rotax 912UL series engine. The pilot held a private pilot certificate, and had a total flight experience of about 883 hours.

About 2 days after the accident, the pilot was informed by another Pulsar operator that there were 5 previous events of NLG separations on Pulsar airplanes. Reportedly, a new NLG fitting had been designed by another owner to eliminate the underlying problem, which was traced to a corroded attach bolt that was difficult to access or inspect. Also reportedly, these failures only affected Pulsar "Series 1" airplanes

The 1055 PWT automated weather observation included winds from 030 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 21 degrees C, dew point 6 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.38 inches of mercury.

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