On July 6, 2000, about 1245 Eastern Daylight Time, a Spartan 7W, N17613, was substantially damaged while landing at the Ashtabula County Airport, Jefferson, Ohio. The certificated private pilot and pilot rated passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, he was on an orientation flight to become familiar with the airplane. Prior to landing on Runway 26, the landing gear and flaps were extended and everything appeared normal. As the airplane touched down, the left wing would not remain level, despite inputs to the aileron. The left wing then contacted the runway surface and the pilot inputted full right rudder followed by use of full right brake. Control of the airplane was maintained for about 500 feet, then the airplane swerved left and departed the left side of the runway, onto a grass area. The right main gear then collapsed into its wheel well and the airplane slid to a stop.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the left main landing gear assembly broke at the top shock strut mount.

On August 31, 2000, the airplane's owner forwarded the components from the left main landing gear to an independent metallurgist. Components of the right main landing were also forwarded for comparison. After the fracture surface on the left main landing gear strut housing was examined under a scanning electron microscope, the metallurgist concluded, "the bulk of the fracture surface of the housing was a cleavage fracture which would be consistent with an overload condition coupled with the low ductility of the housing.

According to the airplane's owner, the airplane was built in 1937, and the landing gear assembly was an original part.

The wind conditions at the airport, about the time of the accident, were from 330 degrees at 8 knots.

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