NYC02LA150
NYC02LA150

On July 30, 2002, about 2040 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 182Q, N759BC, was substantially damaged during a landing at Portage County Airport (29G), Ravenna, Ohio. The certificated private pilot received minor injuries, and his two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time. No flight plan had been filed for the flight, between Akron Fulton International Airport (AKR) and Portage County. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, departure and climb out from Akron was normal. The pilot leveled the airplane at 2,500 feet, then headed eastbound. En route, he practiced turns and a stall, and noted that the airplane would not maintain straight and level flight without rudder trim to the right.

The pilot entered the traffic pattern at Portage County and set up for a landing on runway 27. When the airplane was over the approach end of the runway, he began his flare. The stall warning horn "chirped" briefly, and immediately he heard the sound of the two rear tires contacting the runway surface. He then maintained back pressure on the yoke to bleed off airspeed.

As the airplane's airspeed bled off, the nose wheel lowered onto the runway. Upon contact, the airplane made an immediate sharp turn to the left. The pilot attempted to bring it back to the centerline using full right rudder and right brake; however, the airplane did not respond, and it veered off the left side of the runway. It continued through the grass and towards an elevated taxiway. It became airborne, "sailed" over the taxiway, and came down "hard" on the other side, on all three wheels. The nose wheel then broke off, the airplane's nose struck the ground, and the airplane flipped over.

Both passengers also stated that the landing had been without incident until the nose wheel touched down, and the airplane veered sharply to the left.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, two tire marks, consistent in width and position for the right main gear tire and the nose gear tire, were observed left of runway centerline, beginning 1,100 feet from the beginning of the runway surface. The two marks veered to the left for 135 feet before departing the left side of the runway. In the grass, there were three tire marks that extended for about 15 feet. The tire tracks disappeared, and on the other side of a taxiway, there was evidence of a propeller and nose strike in the ground. The airplane was located on its back, just beyond the strike, and the nose wheel assembly was found about 30 feet beyond the main wreckage.

The inspector also noted that the nose wheel fork casting was fractured, that the nose wheel spun freely, and that there were no apparent drag marks on the tire. In addition, the nose gear scissors top mount bolt head was sheared off, the nut and cotter key were still in place, and the scissors assembly was still intact; however, the top mount bolt was missing from the nose strut assembly.

The inspector forwarded digital photographs of the damaged nose wheel assembly to an air safety investigator (ASI) at Cessna Aircraft Company. According to the ASI's response to the inspector, it appeared that the inner piston was forced up through the mounting collar upon impact, and that the bolt had also been sheared at impact. The ASI also noted that there would have been another bolt to keep the collar in place and the gear straight, and that the steering mechanism could have kept the airplane tracking straight.

The pilot had accrued 150 hours of flight time, with 10 hours in airplane make and model.

Weather, recorded at an airport about 20 nautical miles to southwest at 2051, included winds from 330 degrees true, at 4 knots.

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