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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA17CA435
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 22, 2017 in Denison, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/2017
Aircraft: GILBERT THOMAS JEFFREY LANCAIR 235, registration: N91JG
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the experimental, amateur-built airplane reported that he was unfamiliar with the airplane and that, during a prepurchase flight, he was accompanied by an aircraft mechanic/pilot familiar with the airplane.
The mechanic, seated in the right seat, instructed him to anticipate adding right rudder when increasing power during takeoff. During takeoff, the pilot applied right rudder; however, he reported that, once full power was applied, the airplane continued to veer to the left. The pilot added that he and the mechanic verbally communicated that they “both were applying right rudder and simultaneous aileron.”
The pilot then pulled the mixture control to shut off the engine; however, the airplane continued off the left side of the runway. The pilot heard a loud “pop,” and the airplane then veered to the right, the landing gear collapsed, and the airplane came to rest off the right side of the runway.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and rudder.
The pilot reported that he believed a “mechanical” failure caused the airplane to not respond to inputs from the right rudder, right brake, and right aileron and that the left brake or bearing seized, causing enough friction to overcome the control inputs. The mechanic stated that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
According to the mechanic, the airplane was not equipped with rudder/brake pedals on the right side, and before the flight, the pilot had used the brakes effectively to taxi for takeoff. He further stated, “all brakes were in good shape, and everything was in good operational condition.”
The automated weather observation system on the airport reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 190° at 7 knots. The pilot was departing on runway 17L.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during the takeoff roll.