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On Saturday, July 12, 1997, approximately 0950 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 140, N4275N, registered to and being flown by a private pilot, incurred substantial damage during a nose-over on the landing roll following the separation of the right-main wheel from its associated strut. The accident occurred at the Arlington Municipal airport, Arlington, Washington, and the pilot and passenger were uninjured. No flight plan had been filed and visual meteorological conditions existed at the time. The flight, which was personal, was to have been operated under 14CFR91, and originated from Snohomish, Washington, approximately 0920.
The pilot reported that he arrived in the Arlington airport area and contacted the temporary control tower for instructions. The Arlington airport was hosting the annual Northwest Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in and there was considerable air traffic around the airport at the time. The pilot was given authorization to land on a "grass strip" being used as an alternate landing site adjacent to runway 34.
The pilot stated that while he was on short final approach, he noticed "several orange cones around some red plastic strips" at the approach end of the grass strip. The cones and strips represented a "X" to indicate that the glider strip was closed to powered aircraft due to fly-in activities. The pilot reported that he touched down on his main wheels, bounced once, then "seemed to settle into a normal run-out". The pilot stated that "a second or two later" he felt a heavy yaw to the right as the right landing gear dug into the turf. The landing-gear axle sheared off and the landing-gear strut dug into the turf, causing the aircraft to nose over.
According to the FAA representative on site, a different grass strip was intended for use during the fly-in.