On March 21, 1998, at 1040 Alaska standard time, a Cessna A185F airplane, N9620Q, sustained substantial damage when it ground looped on landing at the Homer, Alaska, airport. The private pilot and the one passenger were uninjured. The airplane was operated by Fairweather, Inc., of Anchorage, Alaska. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a VFR flight plan was filed. The flight departed Anchorage at 1001, bound for Homer.

The pilot stated during a telephone interview with the NTSB investigator-in-charge, and in his Pilot/Operator report, that during landing on the dry asphalt runway, the airplane bounced once, and after settling onto the runway, the left wheel began to vibrate. He indicated that as the airplane was decelerating, he retracted flaps and the airplane began drifting to the left. Application of right rudder did not stop the drift, the airplane ground looped to the left, and the right wing struck the runway. The airplane came to rest on the runway.

The pilot, and the mechanics who repaired the airplane, said that the valve stem of the tire's inner tube was observed to be sheared off. Postaccident inspection of the wheel by the NTSB investigator revealed that both left wheel halves had fractured into numerous pieces. No preaccident anomalies were observed with the wheel or bearings. The Cleveland wheel assemblies with 8.50 inch by 6 inch tires had been installed October 3, 1997, 7 landings and about 4.5 hours prior to the accident.

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