Sunday, July 7, 2019

System / Component Malfunction / Failure (Non-Power): Glasair FT, N4EJ, accident occurred May 16, 2018 at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (KBJC), Broomfield, Colorado

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

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado


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


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


Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 
 
http://registry.faa.gov/N4EJ


Location: Broomfield, CO
Accident Number: CEN18LA180
Date & Time: 05/16/2018, 1520 MDT
Registration: N4EJ
Aircraft: Roger G White Glasair
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

Analysis 

The airline transport pilot reported that, during the landing roll, the experimental, amateur-built airplane started drifting to the left and he applied right rudder to correct. He subsequently attempted to apply right brake pressure to further correct for the drift as the airplane was traveling about 50 knots. At that time, the right brake pedal "went to the floor," and there was "zero" right brake available. The airplane departed the left side of the runway, crossed the grass, and came to rest on the parallel taxiway.

A postrecovery examination revealed that the plastic right brake line was broken near the upper end of the landing gear strut. The airplane was equipped with a free-castering nosewheel and did not have any nosewheel steering capability. Directional control during ground operations was maintained with differential braking. As a result, maintaining directional control after the brake failure was not possible. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The failure of the right brake line, which resulted in a loss of directional control and runway excursion.

Findings

Aircraft
Landing gear brakes system - Failure (Cause)
Directional control - Attain/maintain not possible (Cause)

Factual Information

On May 16, 2018, about 1520 mountain daylight time, an experimental, amateur-built Roger G White Glasair airplane, N4EJ, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion after landing on runway 12L (9,000 ft by 100 ft, asphalt) at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (BJC), Broomfield, Colorado. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to a private individual and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight was not operated on a flight plan. The flight originated from the Vance Brand Airport (LMO), Longmont, Colorado about 1500 and was destined for BJC.

The pilot reported that he was relocating the airplane from LMO to BJC for modification of the fuel injection system after a recent sale. He noted that his preflight inspection and run-up did not reveal any anomalies. He specifically checked the brakes and detected no problems. The takeoff, cruise, and landing approach were conducted without incident. However, during the landing rollout, the airplane started drifting to the left and he applied right rudder to correct. He subsequently attempted to apply right brake pressure to further correct for the drift as the airplane was traveling about 50 knots. At that time, the right brake pedal "went to the floor;" there was "zero" right brake available. The airplane departed the left side of the runway, crossed the grass, and came to rest on the parallel taxiway.

A postrecovery examination conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the right brake line was broken near the upper end of the landing gear strut. The brake line consisted of a flexible plastic line at that location. The brake master cylinder was intact. No anomalies were observed related to the brake master cylinder or the caliper assemblies.

The airplane was equipped with a free castering nose wheel and did not have any nose wheel steering capability. Directional control during ground operations was maintained with differential braking. 

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll
Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power) (Defining event)
Loss of control on ground
Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor
Age: 81, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Glider; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/16/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/18/2016
Flight Time: 14800 hours (Total, all aircraft), 250 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Roger G White
Registration: N4EJ
Model/Series: Glasair FT
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1990
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 265
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/08/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 0 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1589.3 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A3A
Registered Owner: Gene W Gay
Rated Power: 180 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: BJC, 5673 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1545 MDT
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 8000 ft agl
Visibility:  50 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 120°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / -4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Longmont, CO (LMO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Broomfield, CO (BJC)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1500 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Rocky Mountain Muni (BJC)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5673 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 12L
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 9000 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 39.908889, -105.117222 (est)

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