Thursday, December 28, 2017

Beech E33A, N8401N: Accident occurred June 11, 2015 at Cholla Airpark (57AZ), Oro Valley, Pima County, Arizona

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N8401N

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Location: Tucson, AZ
Accident Number: WPR15LA183
Date & Time: 06/11/2015, 0840 MST
Registration: N8401N
Aircraft: BEECH E33A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

Analysis 

The airplane touched down smoothly with the power nearly off. During the landing roll, the commercial pilot applied gentle pressure to the brakes to slow down; however, there was no left braking action, but there was right braking action. The pilot was unable to maintain directional control of the airplane, and it departed the narrow runway and subsequently collided with a drainage ditch and cement wall.

During postaccident examination of the brake system, the hydraulic system was found almost empty because the bleeder valve on the brake caliper had sheared off due to impact damage. The examination revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. The reason for the lack of left braking action could not be determined. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of left braking action for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination did not reveal any evidence of preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation, which resulted in a loss of directional control. 

Findings

Environmental issues
Object/animal/substance - Contributed to outcome

Not determined
Not determined - Unknown/Not determined (Cause)

Factual Information 

On June 11, 2015, about 0840 mountain standard time, a Beech E33A, N8401N, exited the runway landing surface during the landing rollout at La Cholla Airpark, Tucson, Arizona, and collided with a drainage ditch. The owner/pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The local personal flight departed Tucson, about 0800. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

In a written statement, the pilot reported that the landing touchdown was smooth, with power nearly off. During the landing roll, he applied gentle pressure to the brakes to slow down, however the left side braking action was non-existent, while the right side brake held. The pilot was unable to maintain directional control as the airplane departed the narrow runway and subsequently collided with a drainage ditch and low cement wall.

The wreckage was recovered to a secured facility where a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector from the Scottsdale, Arizona, Flight Standards District Office examined the brake system. The inspector reported no evidence of a mechanical malfunction or failure. The hydraulic system was almost empty due to the bleeder valve on the brake caliper was sheared off.

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll
Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power) (Defining event)
Runway excursion

Landing
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 82, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/14/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 08/01/2013
Flight Time: 4500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2000 hours (Total, this make and model), 4000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: BEECH
Registration: N8401N
Model/Series: E33A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1968
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: CE-215
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/20/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 2 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5000 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91  installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO 520 SERIES
Registered Owner: WARREN ADRIAN TRUSTEE
Rated Power: 285 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KDMA, 2704 ft msl
Observation Time: 1558 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 160°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 15°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 330°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Tucson, AZ (57AZ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Tucson, AZ (57AZ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0800 MST
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: LA CHOLLA AIRPARK (57AZ)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2940 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 01
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4500 ft / 44 ft
VFR Approach/Landing:  Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  32.446667, -111.002778 (est)

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