ERA09LA547
ERA09LA547

On September 27, 2009, at 1800 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180, N7720W, was substantially damaged during landing at the Cuyler Field Airport (FD27), Glen St. Mary, Florida. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The pilot departed from FD27 about 1715, overflew the field once, and performed one slip maneuver prior to returning to land on runway 09, a dry, grass runway. The pilot reported the landing was "good;" however, when the airplane was about 3/4 down the length of the runway during the landing rollout, it suddenly veered to the left. The pilot applied right rudder and right brake; however, the airplane continued to veer to the left. The left wing lifted and the right wingtip struck the ground spinning the airplane clockwise to the right. The airplane came to rest after the left wing also struck the ground and the airplane settled back on its landing gear.

The pilot also reported to local law enforcement immediately after the accident that "while attempting to land the plane [he] lost control of the aircraft and slid into the ditch."

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed substantial damage to both wings. Additionally, the nose landing gear clevis pin was sheared. Several components of the landing gear were retained for further examination.

The shimmy dampener assembly, rod end, and clevis pin from the nose landing gear were sent to the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington D.C. for examination. In the assembled condition, the rod end was to be screwed into the shaft of the shimmy dampener. The clevis pin was reportedly installed at the top of the nose gear strut. The purpose of the clevis pin was to connect the steering arm to the inner strut tube. Visual examination of the parts revealed the rod end fractured at the thread portion. The fractured ends of the thread portion revealed signatures typical of overstress separation. The clevis pin fractured at the shank portion. The shank portion displayed evidence of lateral deformation with respect to the length of the shank. The fracture face of the clevis pin showed lateral smear marks consistent with a pin that fractured in ductile overstress in shear mode.

According to the pilot, the airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on September 13, 2009 and no recent maintenance had been performed to the landing gear.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. According to the pilot, at the time of the accident he had accumulated approximately 217 hours of total flight experience, all of which were in the accident airplane.

The weather reported at Jacksonville Airport, 20 miles to the southeast of FD27, at 1750, included wind from 270 degrees at 6 knots, 10 miles visibility, and clear skies.

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