This March 2009 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: Cessna 180. Injuries: None. Location: Wendover, Utah. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land the tailwheel-equipped airplane. Touchdown was normal but during the roll-out the plane began to veer to the right. Corrective rudder inputs could not bring it back in line with the runway. The pilot attempted to do a go-around, but did not correctly reconfigure the airplane for takeoff and ultimately aborted the takeoff and attempted to bring the plane to a stop. The 180 went off the runway and nosed over in rough terrain.
During the investigation it was determined that the right main gear brake assembly was binding. The wheel was hard to turn by hand, with the resistance due to the pressure being applied to the brake rotor by new brake pads that were installed about three to four flight hours before the accident. The post-accident interview with the mechanic who installed the pads determined that after the installation of the pads, the wheel was not jacked up off of the ground so that free movement of the rotor and wheel could be established. Instead, the determination of free movement was made based upon the fact that no resistance was noted when the airplane was pushed out of the hangar by hand. Shims are available to insert between the two halves of the brake caliper upon reassembly, and one should have been installed in this situation to reduce the amount of resistance present without pilot brake application.
Probable cause: A loss of directional control during landing as a result of the binding in one main landing gear brake assembly due to incorrect maintenance procedures.
For more information: NTSB.gov