NTSB Identification: WPR15LA042
On November 15, 2014, about 1420 Pacific standard time, a Cessna U206G, N9420R, veered off the runway during landing at Brackett Field Airport (POC), La Verne, California. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Civil Air Patrol under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing during the accident sequence. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The instructional flight departed from San Gabriel Valley Airport, El Monte, California, about 1350.
During a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in- charge (IIC), the pilot stated that he had difficulties controlling the airplane after the nose wheel settled onto the runway, during the landing roll. The pilot further stated that the airplane initially veered to the left; however, he was able to initially counteract the deviation and the airplane was then positioned near the right side of the runway. Subsequently, the airplane veered left a second time, and he was unable to prevent it from exiting the runway surface, where the right wing struck the ground.
The two passengers onboard the airplane stated that the landing was normal and shortly thereafter the pilot lost directional control of the airplane.
Postaccident examination of the airplane with a certified airframe and powerplant mechanic under the supervision of the NTSB IIC, revealed that the right wing was bent upwards about 3 feet from the wing tip. The airplane's braking continuity from the rudder pedals to the brakes was established with no anomalies. Examination of the nose tire, main tires, and braking assemblies revealed no anomalies. The nose gear assembly was examined and the nose oleo strut was observed to be deflated. However, with weight on the nose wheel, provided by lifting up on the airplane's tail, the nose wheel responded appropriately to pedal steering. The investigation was unable to determine if the deflated strut was due to impact damage or a malfunction. No additional mechanical malfunctions or failures were found that would have precluded normal operation.
The airplane's nose wheel steering system links the rudder pedals to the nose wheel. According to the airplane's Pilot's Operating Manual, "when a rudder pedal is depressed a spring-loaded bungee will turn the nose wheel ... approximately 15 degrees each side of center." By applying either left or right brake, the degree of turn can be increased up to 35 degrees each side of center.
According to the aircraft manufacturer representative, "a steerable nose wheel, mounted in a fork, attached to an air/oil (oleo) shock strut, makes up the nose gear. Nose wheel steering is accomplished through the use of the rudder pedals. A hydraulic fluid-filled shimmy dampener is provided to minimize nose wheel shimmy. The nose wheel steering system links the rudder pedals to the nose wheel steering arm, affording steering control through the use of the rudder pedals and brakes. Torque links keep the lower strut aligned with the nose gear steering system, but permit shock strut action. A properly serviced nose gear oleo will fully extend, when the nose wheel is lifted off the ground. A centering stop log is located on the upper torque link. When the nose gear oleo fully extends, the centering stop lug interfaces with a cutout near the top of the oleo to prevent the nose gear from moving when the rudder pedals are actuated. When the nose gear oleo is compressed the centering stop lug is removed from the cutout allowing the nose tire to move in response to rudder pedal input."