On May 24, 1996, at 1140 hours Pacific daylight time, a Bellanca 17-30A, N23MB, skidded off of the wet runway after landing at the Fallbrook Airport, Fallbrook, California. The aircraft received substantial damage and the pilot and his passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross-country flight and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at Prescott, Arizona, at 0915 on the day of the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot's written report, he landed roughly 1/3 the distance down the length of runway 18, which is 2,160 feet long. Shortly after touchdown, there followed a heavy burst of rain and hail which flooded the runway. When he attempted to exit the runway to the right, the brake locked up, causing the aircraft to hydroplane to the left. Subsequently, the aircraft slid off of the runway and into an area of dirt and bushes. The pilot reported no mechanical problems with the airplane.
According to the FAA inspectors witness interviews, the aircraft approach speed was higher than normal and the aircraft initially landed on the nose gear. After bouncing three times, the pilot attempted to brake and the aircraft hydroplaned.
The pilot did not get a weather briefing prior to the flight. He stated that the television station reported weather was clear and visibility unlimited, with possible clouds late evening near the coast. The winds were reported to be from the southwest at 10 to 15 knots.