NYC01LA008
NYC01LA008

On October 10, 2000, about 1400 Eastern Daylight Time, a Beech BE-23-B24R, N68HW, was substantially damaged while landing at the F.U.M.A. Airport, Fork Union, Virginia. The certificated private pilot and 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 landing on Runway 34, a 3,575-foot long, 100 foot wide, grass strip. He stated that, while flaring, "when you drop the nose, the runway is higher than normal." The airplane touched down on its main landing gear prior to a dirt road that crossed the runway, followed by the nose gear touching down about 18 feet farther. The pilot felt the nose gear fail and attempted to keep the nose of the airplane off the ground. The airplane then veered to the right, impacted a tree and came to rest in a wooded area.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined fractured pieces of the nose wheel assembly, which were found on the ground prior to the dirt road that crossed the runway. The inspector did not observe any beach marks, fracture lines, corrosion, or progressive scoring on the fracture surfaces. The inspector added that the fracture surfaces were "clean, typical of overload failure." The inspector additionally stated that the runway had a down-sloping crown on both ends of the runway.

The pilot did not report any previous problems with the nose gear and that the turf was in good condition. The pilot said he had landed the airplane on grass strips "many times" in the past.

The winds reported at a nearby airport were from 290 degrees at 5 knots.

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