On August 21, 2000, about 1000 central daylight time, a Piper PA-32-300, N4256R, piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage from a brake fire while taxiing to runway 30 at North Platte Regional Airport Lee Bird Field, near North Platte, Nebraska. The personal flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The pilot was uninjured. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was destined for Jim Kelly Field Airport, near Lexington, Nebraska.

The pilot stated, "The runway of choice that day was 30. I started taxing down to runway 30 but had to stop to cross 17-35. At this time the brakes were working properly. After crossing the active it is about 1.5 miles to the end of the taxiway. Taxing down to the end I would have to push the brakes every once in a while to keep at a slow taxi. The rpms were less than 1000. I than turned into the wind at the run up area. Set my parking brake, and proceeded with the run up. When I was checking for the controls were free and clear I noticed a little smoke coming from underneath the left wing. I then proceeded to shut off the aircraft and got out and looked at what was wrong. There was smoke coming from the wheel area. [A]fter about 30 seconds it turned into a small fire on the disk brakes. I got on the radio and called for help and got right back out of the plane. After that the right side started on fire, small at first then grew. About 5 minutes later the radio was still on and the woman at the other end asked what taxiway I was on. I was not going to get back in the aircraft and tell her, I said to my self, I don't know lady look for the smoke. It took roughly 10 minutes for someone to show up. The first one on the scene was a worker with a pickup. He had a fire extinguisher with him and that put it out. I want to say that 99% of my time has been in a Cherokee/piper. My 180 has the same brake system setup as the Cherokee 6. I fly sometimes 3-4 times a week. I have accumulated a lot of hours in a short time. Even though I have had my license for less than a year I believe I did nothing wrong in this case."

The airplanes annual inspection was completed on August 19, 2000.

The Federal Aviation Administration coordinated with a Fixed Base Operator to examine the airplane's brake system. No anomalies were found.

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