LAX01LA223
LAX01LA223

On June 26, 2001, at 0840 hours Pacific daylight time, a Rudolph Venture, N84V, veered off the runway on the landing rollout, and collided with runway signs at the Nevada County Air Park, Grass Valley, California. The experimental homebuilt airplane was operated by the pilot/owner under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and sustained substantial damage. The airline transport pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight, and no flight plan had been filed.

The Safety Board Investigator-in-Charge interviewed the pilot. The pilot stated that the approach and touchdown were normal. On the landing rollout the airplane veered to the right. He input full left rudder, but was unable to bring the airplane back to runway centerline. The airplane continued off the right side of the runway where it contacted runway signs. The pilot reported that this particular type of airplane has a history of runway departures due to the design of the nose wheel landing gear.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector interviewed the pilot. The pilot stated that he felt confident that he might have regained control of the airplane if the airplane had not contacted runway signs.

The FAA inspector examined the airplane on-scene and stated that there was no damage to the nose gear doors and that the gear remained down and locked during landing. He indicated that the gear trunnion, down lock linkages, and strut were intact and displayed no visible damage. He further stated that according to the owner/pilot, the nose wheel is centered on an extension by internal cerntering cams inside the oleo strut. On the ground, the oleo piston and the nose wheel are free to castor right and left of center to physical external stops. The FAA inspector stated that he inspected this area and found it intact and functional. Another item of note was that there is no "steering" linkage which the pilot physically uses to steer the airplane. No further discrepancies were noted. According to the FAA inspector, the kit manufacturer is aware that the airplane has a history of nose gear steering problems, and they are attempting to resolve the problems.

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