ERA10LA110
ERA10LA110

On January 6, 2010, at 1646 central standard time, a Piper PA-32R-301T, N8448Y, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion after landing at the Auburn-Opelika Airport (AUO), Auburn, Alabama. The private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from the Thomaston-Upson County Airport (OPN), Thomaston, Georgia, at 1615.

The pilot stated that after landing on runway 36 he applied the brakes to slow the airplane for a left turn off the runway. Instead, the airplane began a turn to the right, which could not be corrected with left brake application. The airplane departed the right side of the runway, the left main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane stopped upright on the grass apron.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman records, the pilot was issued a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land, multi-engine land, and instrument airplane. However, the pilot had surrendered his certificate to the FAA one month prior to the accident. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued on September 8, 2009, at which time the pilot reported 1,386 total hours of flight experience, 170 hours of which were in the same make and model of the accident airplane. He reported 20 total hours of flight experience in the 90 days preceding the accident.

According to FAA and maintenance records the airplane had accrued 3,030 total hours. Its most recent annual inspection was completed on January 1, 2010, at 3,029 hours.

At 1655, the weather reported at AUO, included clear skies and wind from 280 degrees at 4 knots. The visibility was 10 miles. The temperature was 3 degrees C and the dew point was -13 degrees C.

Examination of the airplane at the accident site by an FAA inspector revealed substantial damage to the left wing spar, a twisted fuselage, and collapsed landing gear. A detailed examination of the brakes was completed by a licensed airframe and powerplant mechanic. The mechanic reported that both the left and right brakes turned freely with no dragging noted and that the brake system appeared to be functional.

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