Sunday, May 12, 2019

Cessna 180, N1585C; accident occurred August 20, 2017 at Parlin Field Airport (2B3), Newport, Sullivan County, New Hampshire

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Newport, NH

Accident Number: ERA17LA290
Date & Time: 08/20/2017, 1700 EDT
Registration: N1585C
Aircraft: CESSNA 180
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The commercial pilot was initiating a personal flight and noted no discrepancies with the brakes during the preflight inspection, the engine run-up, or the initial portion of taxiing aside from the left brake pedal not lining up exactly with the right brake pedal, which had been that way for a while. When the pilot attempted to slow the airplane during the taxi, the right brake pedal travelled to the floor, which resulted in asymmetric braking. In an effort to avoid trees, the pilot intentionally ground looped the airplane and added power, which exacerbated the turn and resulted in the right wing impacting the ground. Postaccident examination of the right brake revealed no fluid in the reservoir and a leak at the slave cylinder, which likely resulted in the asymmetric braking and ground loop.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A leak in the right brake slave cylinder, which led to no fluid in the reservoir and subsequent asymmetric braking.


Master cylinder/brake valve - Malfunction (Cause)
Directional control - Attain/maintain not possible (Cause)
Fluids - Fluid level (Cause)

Factual Information

On August 20, 2017, about 1700 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 180, N1585C, was substantially damaged while taxiing for takeoff at Parlin Field Airport (2B3), Newport, New Hampshire. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was being operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the flight that was originating at the time of the accident, and was destined for Rutland-Southern Vermont Regional Airport (RUT), Rutland, Vermont.

The pilot stated that he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane that included an inspection of the wheel assemblies and noted no fluid was on the ground. After engine start, he performed an engine run-up, and reported no issues with the brakes. He then back-taxied to the approach end of runway 36. While taxiing, he noted the left brake pedal did not line-up exactly with the right brake pedal; however, he noted that the difference in brake pedal position had been that way for a while. He continued to taxi, steering with the tailwheel. When near the approach end of the runway while starting to slow; the left brake was normal, but the right brake pedal traveled completely to the floor. In an effort to avoid trees off the side of the runway, he intentionally ground-looped the airplane. He believed the airplane ground-looped twice, and on the second turn, he added power to get some rudder authority which only exacerbated the turn. The right wing impacted the ground, and was substantially damaged, before the airplane came to rest.

Examination of the right brake system following recovery of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness inspector revealed that during brake pedal application, the right brake pedal went to the floor. Examination of the right brake master cylinder revealed no fluid. Visual examination of the cockpit area of the right brake pedal revealed no evidence of leaking fluid. The right brake was bled of air and the reservoir was filled with fluid. Visual examination of the right brake over the course of 1 week revealed fluid leaking at the slave cylinder. No determination was made as to the reason for the leaking slave cylinder.

The airplane's last annual inspection was signed off as being completed on June 12, 2017. The airplane had accrued about 13 hours, and there had been no brake work done since the annual was completed. The pilot also indicated that there were no issues with the brakes on the flight into 2B3.

History of Flight

Taxi-to runway
Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)
Loss of control on ground

Dragged wing/rotor/float/other

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial
Age: 59, 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 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/08/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/06/2017
Flight Time:  38000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 30 hours (Total, this make and model), 23000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 270 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 80 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Registration: N1585C
Model/Series: 180 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1953
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 30285
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/12/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2550 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 13 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5016.1 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-470-J
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 260 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: VSF, 578 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1654 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 260°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 6500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 300°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Newport, NH (2B3)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Rutland, VT (RUT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1700 EDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Parin Field Airport (2B3)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 783 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3448 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

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: 43.383333, -72.185000 (est)

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