On April 30, 1999, at 1100 Pacific daylight time, a Boeing B75N1, N275HP, registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, ground looped during the landing roll at the Chehalis Airport, Chehalis, Washington. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged and the commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight originated from Olympia, Washington, about 30 minutes before the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In a written statement, the pilot reported that the landing was to runway 33, with a slight crosswind from the left. The pilot reported that during the landing roll, "the right brake locked during normal corrective braking for directional control and stopping." The airplane swerved to the right and the pilot was unable to correct with left rudder control and left braking action. The airplane subsequently ground looped to the right. The left wing contacted the surface.
After the accident, the pilot reported that he found a 50-foot long arcing skid mark on the runway. The pilot also stated that the airplane had been in an unheated hangar since January 1999, and thought that condensed moisture might have caused the brake malfunction. The pilot also stated that he could not duplicate the "locked brake" during subsequent taxiing. In a later written statement, he noted that drum type brakes such as those that were on the Stearman are notorious for grabbing due to moisture.
The pilot had disc brakes installed on the airplane after it was repaired, following the accident. In notes of a record of a telephone conversation on May 19, 1999, with a Safety Board investigator, the mechanic who later repaired the airplane stated that he could not see anything mechanically wrong with the brake. The pilot noted that on July 7, 1999, the airplane was reassembled and the right wheel was jacked up and the wheel was spun and the brake applied for proper action. He believed that this was the first time the right wheel and brake had been examined. He stated that the wheel was not removed and the brake was not visually inspected, since the spin test indicated that it was operating properly.