On October 30, 1996, at 1030 central daylight time, a Beech BE-19, N5102R, registered to and operated by Ari Ben Aviator Inc., of Addison, Texas, as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 flight, struck a tree following a loss of control during the landing at McKinney Municipal Airport, McKinney, Texas. The student pilot was not injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the solo flight within the local area and a flight plan was not filed. The flight originated from Addison, Texas at 0800.

During a telephone interview, conducted by the-investigator-in-charge, the flight instructor reported that the student was enrolled in the Private Pilot Flight Training Curriculum at the Are Ben Aviator FAA Certificate Title 14 CFR Part 141 Flight School. The student pilot had performed his first solo and his solo stage check at the McKinney Airport. Subsequently, he was endorsed, by his flight instructor, for solo flights to and from Addison Municipal Airport to the McKinney Airport, with landings at each respectively.

The information in this paragraph was gleaned from the pilot during a personal interview, conducted by the investigator-in-charge. On the day of the accident, the flight was performing touch and go landings on runway 17 at the McKinney Airport. Final approach speed was 70 to 75 knots with full flaps and the approach path followed the visual approach slope indicator (VASI). On the 4th or 5th landing, he felt that the brakes were binding and after exiting the runway with the airplane, he checked the brakes; however, no discrepancies were found and the flight taxied to the runway and continued the touch and go landings. After 5 or 6 more landings, the airplane touched down about midfield and subsequently, with all 3 wheels on the runway, the student retracted the flaps, pushed the carburetor heat to "COLD," and reached for the throttle to apply power for the departure. The student pilot stated that at this point, "the airplane brakes were binding, the airplane exited the left side of the runway, continued through the grass, and stopped after the left wing struck a tree."

The FAA inspector who examined the accident site found that the airplane skidded for 239 feet prior to striking the trees. The left wing spar was bent, the propeller spinner crushed, and structural damage also occurred at the lower fuselage of the airplane. He did not find "any evidence of brake problems."

The pilot was using a personal fold up 5 inch thick seat cushion. During the investigation, the inspector had the student pilot sit in the airplane, and the inspector observed that the "extra height caused his knees to contact the lower part of the instrument panel and hindered his ankle movement for proper rudder and brake action."

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