WPR10CA052
WPR10CA052

According to the pilot, airport operations had issued a notice to airman (NOTAM), and sent emails and letters to the airport tenants, that the runway would be under construction. The runway length had been shortened from its normal length of 5,906 feet to 2,500 feet. The pilot stated that on the day of the accident, he performed a preflight of the airplane and calculated the distance he would need for landing. He stated that he knew that a normal landing and roll out with brakes would require 2,000 feet of runway, and without brakes it would require 3,000 feet of runway to come to a stop. He also reported that "past practice had shown that minimum brake usage produced the best landing scenario, which meant that 2,500 [feet] was adequate for the T6 in consideration of all factors, including winds, moisture, density altitude, obstacles, grow weight, and other dynamics such as traffic, turn-off speed, and noise abatement…." The pilot stated that the approach was normal. As the airplane crossed the threshold for landing, he reduced the power to idle to shorten the landing rollout. The airplane touched down at 75 miles per hour (mph), and he noted no directional control issues on the landing roll out. As the ground speed dissipated to 30 mph, he felt the airplane start to drift to the right. He input left rudder, which he found to be ineffective. He added additional left rudder as the airplane continued off the runway's edge into the soft dirt. The pilot stated that he thought he may have a mechanical problem with the rudder and did not want to make the directional problem worse by applying brakes and oversteering. The pilot stated that the airplane's forward motion was slowed to 10 mph, and "set the plane into a side motion," which sheared the landing gear struts. The pilot inspected his airplane and found nothing wrong with the rudder. The pilot submitted The Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1), in which he indicated that there was no mechanical problem with his airplane. The accident was reported to the Safety Board on November 9, 2009, after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had been notified, and the airplane inspected.

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