The flight instructor was flying the Piper PA-34-200 and demonstrating a short-field landing during the instructional flight in Spring, Texas.
The CFI reported that, after the plane touched down about 90 mph, the right brake pedal went full forward, and the brakes were not slowing the airplane.
He pumped the brake pedal several times to build pressure in the lines but was not successful. The pilot receiving instruction checked his brake pedals and confirmed that the right brake was not working.
The CFI then shut down both engines when the airspeed was about 60 mph and subsequently lost directional control of the airplane.
The airplane then drifted off the left side of the runway and hit a ditch, which resulted in substantial damage to the lower aft fuselage and lower forward empennage.
An examination of the brakes the day after the accident did not reveal any problems with the right brake, however, it could not be determined whether the brake system had been serviced or repaired following the accident.
A photograph of skid marks on the runway showed that the skid marks for the left main landing gear (MLG) tire seemed to be darker than the skid marks for the right MLG tire. The evidence indicates that the right brake likely lost effectiveness during the landing, which resulted in a loss of directional control, however, the reason for the brake’s loss of effectiveness could not be determined.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the loss of right brake effectiveness during landing for reasons that could not be determined, which resulted in a loss of directional control.
NTSB Identification: CEN14LA220
This April 2014 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.