On November 10, 2004, about 1140 eastern standard time, a Champion 7EC, N4306C, was substantially damaged while taxiing at Harrison/Marion Regional Airport (CKB), Clarksburg, West Virginia. The certificated private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for local personal flight, conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, he was taxiing northbound on taxiway A, and was unable to turn the airplane eastbound, to runway 21. The airplane "proceeded straight ahead, over the edge of a steep embankment, and came to rest in a drainage ditch at the bottom of the hill."

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that while the pilot was taxiing to runway 21, he advised the tower controller that he "couldn't find the brakes." The airplane went off the taxiway, down a 60-foot embankment, and impacted rocks at the bottom of a drainage ditch. The inspector further noted that the brake pedals were "rather small," and "designed to be operated by the pilot's heels, rather than the more conventional toe brakes."

During a post-accident examination, the airplane's throttle control was found in the idle position, and the mixture was off. The right main landing gear was bent up under the airplane; however, there was no visible damage to the braking system. The left main landing gear brake was tested, and functioned normally.

Weather, recorded at the airport about the time of the accident, included clear skies, and variable winds at 4 knots.

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