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N7044Q accident description

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Crash location 42.267223°N, 71.875556°W
Nearest city Worcester, MA
42.262593°N, 71.802293°W
3.8 miles away
Tail number N7044Q
Accident date 30 Apr 2016
Aircraft type Maher Daniel J Velocity
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On April 30, 2016, about 1556 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Velocity SEFG, N7044Q, was substantially damaged during landing at Worcester Regional Airport (ORH), Worcester, Massachusetts. The airline transport pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91

According to the pilot, immediately after nose wheel contact upon landing, the nose wheel fork separated from the nose wheel landing gear strut, and the airplane began skidding on the bottom of the nose landing gear strut. After the separation of the nosewheel fork, the pilot applied held backpressure on the control stick, which resulted in a propeller strike.

The pilot stated that he had purchased the airplane in November 2015. There were no preflight anomalies noted before the local area flight, and no mechanical or performance deficiencies before the final full-stop landing. There was no record of any maintenance done on the nose landing gear fork.

Examination of photographs revealed the airplane rested on the nose landing gear strut with the nose wheel and its mounting fork separated. The nose wheel remained in the fork and the nose gear fork was fractured at the gear mount attach point. The propeller tips were damaged, and parallel slash marks consistent with a propeller strike were visible on the runway surface prior to where the airplane came to rest. The composite airframe structure at the nose landing gear strut attach point had also fractured, and had punctured the cockpit footwell, which resulted in substantial damage to the airframe.

Further examination of the nose landing gear fork revealed it fractured from overstress. The manufacturer stated that this part and design had been modified twice because of similar fractures, as it had been discovered that excessive nose landing gear shimmying would result in overstress fractures. The first redesign included a dampener consisting of bellville washers to reduce stress on the nose fork. The next iteration included a hydraulic dampener. In addition to changing the design of the nose fork, the new parts were made of a different material.

The accident airplane did not have either modification installed , and was the original nose fork installed on the airplane.

NTSB Probable Cause

The overstress failure of the nose landing gear fork assembly.

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