LAX03LA033
LAX03LA033

On November 15, 2002, about 1840 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172M, N548RM, veered off the runway and the left main landing gear collapsed during the landing rollout on runway 7 at Rosamond Skypark Airport (L00), Rosamond, California. The airplane was rented by the pilot, and operated by Sun Quest Aviation, under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. The local area flight departed Whiteman Airport (WHP), Los Angeles, California, about 1730. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed.

In the pilot's written statement he indicated that the flight to Rosamond was uneventful. On the landing rollout, he applied the brakes to exit the runway, and the airplane veered to the left in a left wing low attitude. The left main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane came to rest upright.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who examined the airplane on scene, the left main landing gear's tubular spring-steel strut displayed a jagged break inside the fuselage. The FAA inspector further reported that there were tire signatures (not skid marks) on the runway. The airplane veered to the left side of the runway, where the left main landing gear collapsed. The airframe logbooks were reviewed by the FAA inspector. He indicated that there was a history of hard landings in the accident airplane.

The airplane was returned to service after the 100-hour inspection, which included an inspection of the landing gear, was completed on March 30, 2002.

The left main landing gear assembly was sent to the Safety Board Materials Laboratory for further inspection. The cylindrical strut tube broke into three main pieces. The majority of the observed fracture surfaces were light gray with a speckled appearance and chevron marks, "features consistent with [an] overstress fracture." The aft outboard upper side of the strut had corrosion pits in the attachment hole. An area of "fatigue" was observed on the aft outboard side of the upper attachment hole. The fatigue features "emanated from multiple origins at the surface of the attachment hole." Machining marks were also found on the upper attachment hole surface.

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