LAX96LA242
LAX96LA242

On June 23, 1996, at 1545 hours Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-34-200, N507TH, collided with a fence following a loss of directional control while landing at the Catalina Island airport. The aircraft was owned and operated by Flight International of Van Nuys, California, and was rented by the pilot for the personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the operation. The aircraft and the airport boundary fence sustained substantial damage. The certificated commercial pilot and his two passengers were not injured. The flight originated at Van Nuys on the day of the accident at 1430 as a flight to the island.

In a telephone interview, the pilot reported that after touchdown on the runway the left brake failed and he lost directional control. The aircraft veered off the runway and collided with a barbed wire fence.

The owner of an aircraft wreckage retrieval firm, who also holds an FAA airframe and powerplant mechanics certificate, was present at the airport when the accident occurred. At the direction of the Safety Board, he examined the aircraft brake system within 10 minutes of the accident. He reported that the left brake disk was cold to the touch, while the right disk was hot. The left brake pedal was stiff and would not move with pressure applied, and the corresponding left brake calipers would not move.

The aircraft owner moved the aircraft and repaired it before the brake system could be examined in detail, and declined to produce the maintenance records.

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