IAD05LA021
IAD05LA021

On November 29, 2004, at 1515 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-140, N15037, was substantially damaged during the landing roll at Allentown Queen City Municipal Airport (1N9), Allentown, Pennsylvania. The certificated student pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The personal flight, which originated at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE), Allentown, Pennsylvania, was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to a written statement submitted by the pilot, during his taxi at Lehigh Valley Airport, the airplane required "substantially more left rudder than customary to maintain centerline." In a separate interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot described that he needed almost full left rudder to keep the airplane taxiing in a straight direction, and that during the takeoff roll he needed less and less rudder as airspeed increased. He did not believe the issue to be anything material and elected to continue the flight.

The pilot performed maneuvers in the practice area, and then proceeded to Queen City Airport to perform a practice landing. He made a normal approach to the runway and reported that there was no crosswind correction necessary. Upon touchdown, the right wing of the airplane "continued to dip" and the airplane veered "violently" to the right. The airplane slid across the grassy area between the runway and the parallel taxiway, struck an airport sign, and came to rest partially on the taxiway.

The pilot additionally stated that the nose landing gear had collapsed when the airplane struck the airport sign. He also noticed that the lower portion of the right main landing gear was lying on the runway, so he retrieved it from the runway and placed it next to the airplane, in order to prevent it from causing damage to other aircraft.

Examination of the separated right main landing gear, tire, and brake assembly by an FAA inspector revealed no mechanical anomalies.

During a telephone interview, the mechanic who performed repairs to the airplane following the accident did not note any signs of corrosion or preexisting failure.

The airplane was a 1972 Piper PA-28-140. The airplane's last 100-hour inspection occurred on October 8, 2004, and at that time the airplane had accrued 6,645 total hours of flight. In addition, the airplane had accrued 62 flight hours since the last inspection.

According to the airplane owner, who also owned the flight school that operated the airplane, he had owned the airplane since 1997, and since that time it had been used predominantly for flight training.

The upper portion of the landing gear, which had remained attached to the airplane, was removed and forwarded to the Safety Board Materials Laboratory. Examination revealed that the landing gear failed due to overstress cracking.

The weather reported at Lehigh Valley Airport, about 5 nautical miles north, at 1451, included winds from 300 degrees at 5 knots and clear skies below 12,000 feet.

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