Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Velocity SUV, N399DG: Accident occurred May 30, 2017 at Pierce County Airport (KPLU), Puyallup, Washington

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Renton, Washington

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA114
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 30, 2017 in Puyallup, WA
Aircraft: TAPPEN CHRIS VELOCITY SUV, registration: N399DG
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 30, 2017, about 1600 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Velocity SUV, N399DG, departed the runway after landing at Pierce County Airport - Thun Field, Puyallup, Washington. The airplane was registered to the builder, and operated by the private pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a personal flight. The pilot was not injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the canard and fuselage structure after striking an airport fence. The local flight departed Thun Field about 5 minutes before the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot had purchased the airplane in Tennessee about a week prior to the accident, and spent the intermediate time flying it back to his home base of Thun Field. On the day of the accident, he planned to fly it in the traffic pattern. He performed a preflight inspection, and reported that during the engine run-up he checked the brakes, and they held. The takeoff, climbout, and landing approach were uneventful, and he touched down just beyond the runway numbers, at an airspeed of 82 knots. He applied pressure to the combination rudder/brake foot pedals to slow the airplane down, and once it had reached about 35 knots, the pressure in the right pedal suddenly dropped, and the pedal moved to almost full travel.

The airplane immediately veered to the left, and he released pressure on the left pedal. He began to "pump" the right pedal in an attempt to regain braking action, but the airplane did not slow down. As the airplane approached a runway light, he applied left pedal pressure, and the airplane veered left, departed the runway, and struck the fence.

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