On September 13, 1998, at 1857 eastern daylight time, N7236K, a Piper PA-18-150, was substantially damaged when it collided with terrain during landing on runway 36 at the Waterbury-Oxford Airport, Oxford, Connecticut. The certificated private pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The local, personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, "...a three point landing was made-airspeed and flare appeared normal, wind was calm from the north...At touchdown and thereafter aircraft drastically veered to the right. [I] tried to correct with power but aircraft impacted a brushy area... ."

The airplane was examined at the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector. The examination included the brakes and the flight controls and no anomalies were noted. Examination of the tailwheel revealed the right side tailwheel rudder spring was missing, while the left side was hanging and not connected. The right main gear forward strut was found broken near the forward attach point.

The right main strut forward fitting was sent to the NTSB Laboratory for examination. According to the NTSB Metallurgist, visual examination of the fitting fracture revealed features consistent with tensile shear overstress. No indications of preexisting cracking, significant corrosion or weld discontinuities were observed.

According to the airplane log books, the last annual inspection was completed on September 28, 1997. The airplane had accumulated over 6.5 hours since it was rebuilt in September 1997. Prior to the inspection, the last entry in the log book was dated in 1981.

The pilot reported over 233 hours of total flight experience which included 40 hours in tailwheeled airplanes, and 20 hours in make and model.

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