The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped Wittman W-10 reported that, after landing at an airport along his route, he observed a leak from the left master brake cylinder.
He “wiped up a considerable amount of brake fluid from the floorboard,” conducted a “thorough inspection” of the left brake, and then departed for another airport.
He further reported that, during the landing roll, the airplane weathervaned into the crosswind, and he applied “full rudder and on the application of brake found no brake available.”
He added that, after pumping the brakes, they began to function. The airplane veered off the runway to the right, and the left main landing gear collapsed. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.
Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to take off with a known master brake cylinder leak and his subsequent failure to maintain directional control during landing.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA212
This March 2017 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.