Worn brakes contribute to accident

This March 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Beech Musketeer.
Location: Fredericksburg, Va.
Injuries: None.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land on a runway that measured 2,999 feet. On the first approach he determined that the airplane was too high and fast so he initiated a go-around. On the second approach he descended to 500 feet on the final leg and added one notch of flaps. About 1/4 mile from the runway, he reduced engine power to idle, and crossed the runway threshold at 75 feet AGL with an airspeed of 90 mph.

According to the Pilot’s Operating Handbook, the approach speed for the airplane with one notch of flaps is 78 knots. The airplane touched down within the first 1,000 feet of the runway, bounced, and floated another 500 feet. The airplane touched down again around the mid-point of the runway. The pilot then applied the brakes, but the airplane did not slow as he expected it to. The airplane went off the runway and into a ditch.

After the accident, a mechanic who looked at the brakes commented that they looked worn. The pilot stated that had he known this, he would not have flown the airplane.

Probable cause: The pilot’s misjudgment of the airplane’s speed and distance during the landing approach.
For more information: NTSB.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20070403X00355&key=1.

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