On July 8, 1996, at 1730 hours Pacific daylight time, a Bowles/Irwin Questair Venture, N65V, landed on runway 27 at the Pine Mountain Lake Airport, Groveland, California. According to the pilot of the experimental, amateur-built airplane, he lost directional control during rollout. The airplane veered off the side of the runway, collided with terrain, and was substantially damaged. The commercial pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed during the personal test flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Groveland at 1630. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported that he made a normal touchdown, and the beginning of the landing rollout was uneventful. Gradually, the airplane rolled toward the right side of the runway. The pilot stated that he applied left rudder pedal and "a little" left brake pressure to correct his alignment, but that the airplane did not adequately respond. He further stated that he then made the mistake of moving the steering lever to redirect the airplane, and he "over corrected." At this time, the airplane veered toward the left side of the runway and the pilot turned the steering lever to the right. The pilot reported that he again over corrected the airplane, it veered off the right side of the runway, and its nose dug into the ground.
The pilot reported that he believes the design of the airplane is faulty in that the nose wheel was constructed too close to the main landing gear, and the three wheels formed an equilateral triangle. Also, the nose steering mechanism allowed for too much play. In a crosswind, the weathercocking force allowed the nose wheel fork to turn and angle the airplane toward the edge of the runway. The pilot further stated that although his airplane's steering is sensitive, he did not experience any mechanical failures or malfunctions during the flight.
At the time of the accident the wind was from 290 degrees at 8 knots.