FTW98LA415
FTW98LA415

On September 26, 1998, at 2030 a Piper PA-32-301T airplane, N83894, was substantially damaged upon impact with a deer during the landing roll, near Austin, Texas. The instrument rated private pilot, who was the owner and operator of the airplane, was not injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 flight, for which no flight plan was filed. The personal flight originated from the Horseshoe Bay Airpark Airport, Austin, Texas, at 0745.

The pilot reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) that on September 25, 1998, he flew the airplane from Wichita Falls, Texas, to Austin, Texas. The touchdown on runway 17 was normal. During the landing roll he observed deer running across the runway and applied the brakes. The propeller of the airplane struck a deer, which subsequently struck the right main landing gear assembly. The pilot stated that the airplane "swerved to the right for about 20 feet," and then straightened out. He taxied the airplane to the ramp and exited the airplane.

According to the pilot the weather conditions at the time he landed at Austin were: clear skies, winds from 180 degrees at 3 knots, and dark night light conditions.

The following morning the pilot inspected the airplane and observed a "1/4 to 1/2 inch nick" in the propeller. He added that he removed the left and right wheel fairings from the main landing gear assemblies and found no damage to either landing gear. The pilot decided to fly the airplane around the pattern one time to verify that the nick in the propeller would not yield any vibrations. As the airplane departed the runway the lower strut assembly, including the wheel, separated from the right main landing gear assembly. The pilot flew the airplane to the Mathis Field Airport, San Angelo, Texas, where the airplane landed on runway 21.

According to the pilot, the weather conditions between Austin, Texas, and San Angelo, Texas, were: VFR.

The pilot reported in the pilot/operator report that he had accumulated a total of 852.1 flight hours, of which 797 were in the make and model of the accident airplane, and 25 hours were during night conditions.

An FAA inspector examined the airplane at the Mathis Field Airport. He reported that right flap was punctured in the area of the upper skin. The right main landing gear wheel fairing was damaged and covered with blood. Structural damage was incurred by the right main landing gear lower strut assembly (axle and oleo piston).

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