SEA07CA032
SEA07CA032

On December 1, 2006, about 1415 Pacific standard time, a Riley D-16A twin-engine airplane, N119N, sustained substantial damage when the nose landing gear collapsed during takeoff roll on runway 16 at Point Roberts Airpark, Point Roberts, Washington. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. The flight was originating when the accident occurred.

According to the pilot, during the takeoff roll at about rotation speed, he felt the nose landing gear of the airplane "give way" and the airplane began to drift to the left. As he applied right rudder to correct the yaw, he felt "a continued collapse" of the nose landing gear and elected to abort the takeoff. The airplane's nose and both propellers struck the ground.

Examination of photos provided by an insurance adjustor revealed that both engines were displaced down and to the right. The right engine firewall was torn from the engine nacelle, and the left engine firewall was buckled and distorted. Additionally, the photos revealed that the nose landing gear fork had broken into two pieces, which allowed the nose wheel to separate from the airplane, resulting in collapse of the nose landing gear. The pilot reported that "an aircraft structural engineer made the observation that my nose gear fork had an old hidden crack that could have contributed to the failure."

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