The pilot stated that, during the landing roll, the left main landing gear wheel fractured on the Parrakeet. The experimental-homebuilt airplane subsequently veered off the runway in Castroville, Texas, and flipped over.
Post-accident examination of the fractured left main wheel revealed that the wheel failed due to overstress of the cast aluminum alloy. No evidence of preexisting cracks was observed.
According to the pilot, the wheel had accrued only 11.4 hours since he had installed it, and it had about 15 cycles (landings) at the time of the accident.
The wheels installed on the airplane were designed for ultralight aircraft that have an empty weight of less than 254 pounds. The Parrakeet weighed about 954 pounds and would have required wheels with a higher loading capability.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the failure of the left main landing gear wheel on landing due to overstress, which resulted in the pilot’s loss of directional control. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s improper decision to install wheels with insufficient loading capacity for the airplane.
NTSB Identification: CEN13LA534
This August 2013 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.