This July 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: Diamond DA 40. Injuries: 1 Minor. Location: Cape Girardeau, Mo. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot flew his airplane to an FBO for repairs to the brakes. According to the pilot, the mechanic led him to believe that the repairs would be completed by the next day and the airplane could be picked up later in the day. The pilot called the FBO and was told that his keys would be waiting for him at the front desk. The pilot found the keys, but there was no note on the keys, and he did not see the mechanic or anyone else at the business who was able to confirm if the brakes had been repaired. The pilot did not notice any problems with the brakes during his preflight inspection. However, during taxiing, the airplane did not stop when pressure was applied to both brakes. The airplane crashed into a standing fuel truck.
After the accident the pilot learned that the mechanic had left him a voice mail message indicating the brakes had not been repaired because new parts were required, and that parts would be in the next day.
Probable cause: The airplane’s inoperative brakes while taxiing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadequate preflight.
For more information: NTSB.gov NTSB Identification: CEN09CA493