ATL02LA087
ATL02LA087

On April 17, 2002, at 1145 central daylight time, a Greg Grouleff BD-5B, experimental airplane, N727BD, registered to, owned, and operated by the commercial pilot, veered off the runway into trees after a fracture of the left main landing gear during touchdown at Bessemer Airport in Bessemer, Alabama. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The local flight departed Bessemer, Alabama, at 1115.

After conducting maneuvers in the local area, the pilot returned to the airport and entered the airport traffic pattern. The pilot flew a visual approach to runway 5 at 110 to 120 mph with gear down and flaps half-extended. The pilot stated a light crosswind condition was present, and he executed a touchdown on the left main landing gear first. Upon touchdown, the left wing immediately dropped left, the airplane veered left, and the pilot had no directional control. The airplane continued to veer left off the runway at high speed and, after about 300 feet, it went over an embankment into trees.

Examination of the wreckage revealed the left main wheel was separated from the gear leg and found near the touchdown point. The left stabilator was bent, and the right wing displayed leading edge damage. The aluminum casting of the left main landing gear, part number LG93, was fractured and showed no evidence of previous damage or cracks.

The BD-5B is a home-built airplane with no published operating manual. BD Micro Technologies, which manufactures a kit version of the BD-5B, lists the stall speed for an unmodified, kit-built aircraft as 59 mph.

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