NYC02LA054
NYC02LA054

On January 26, 2002, about 0940 eastern standard time, a Beech F33A, N3276R, was substantially damaged while taking off from the Falwell Airport, Lynchburg, Virginia. The certificated commercial 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 taxied the airplane from his hangar to runway 10, a 2,000-foot long, 50-foot wide, asphalt runway. The taxi route to the runway required two separate 90-degree turns, and a 180-degree turn onto the runway. The pilot did not observe any abnormalities with the steering system during the taxi. Prior to departure, the pre-takeoff check included assuring that the brakes were released, and the flight controls were operating normally. As power was applied, the pilot "anticipated the tendency for the airplane to turn left." As the airplane gained speed, it began to turn left. The pilot attempted to compensate for the turn with right rudder; however, "it did not produce the usual corrective action." The pilot then attempted to apply braking action to stop the turn, but the airplane departed the left side of the runway, while the engine was still developing full power. The pilot aborted the takeoff, and the airplane proceeded into low-lying brush, before coming to rest upright.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the wreckage after the accident. The inspector verified flight control continuity and observed no abnormalities with the rudder pedals or brakes.

The inspector also observed that the airplane departed the side of the runway about 75 feet from the point where the takeoff roll began.

According to the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook, "In the event a takeoff is rejected, the power should be reduced to idle and maximum braking applied while maintaining directional control."

The recorded weather at a nearby airport, about the time of the accident, included winds from 160 degrees at 5 knots.

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