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N6908 accident description

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Crash location 41.128056°N, 74.346666°W
Nearest city West Milford, NJ
41.100096°N, 74.391264°W
3.0 miles away
Tail number N6908
Accident date 23 Jun 2005
Aircraft type Beech C35
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On June 23, 2005, at 1544 eastern daylight time, a Beech C35, N6908, was substantially damaged while landing at the Greenwood Lake Airport (4N1), West Milford, New Jersey. The certificated private pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which originated at the Burlington International Airport (BVT), Burlington, Vermont, and conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

During a telephone interview, the pilot recounted the events that transpired during the landing.

Upon arrival at 4N1, he elected to land on runway 24. During the final approach, the pilot maintained about "80 knots" indicated airspeed. He also recalled the winds as being at about 4 to 5 knots. On touchdown, the airplane started "veering to the left," and he felt that the right brake was not working properly. The airplane continued veering to the left, and he remembered that he applied "full" right rudder and aileron, with no effect. The airplane then departed the paved surface of the runway.

According to the grounds keeper of the airport, the airplane appeared to touch down "crooked" and not aligned with the runway. The airplane then struck a runway edge light with the right wing, and continued into the airport infield until it hit rocks and a drainpipe. The airplane then "jumped up" 20 to 40 feet in the air, and traveled about 100 feet horizontally until it impacted the ground in a nose down attitude.

Examination of the accident site and airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the airplane came to rest perpendicular to the runway in the airport infield, with its flaps extended approximately 30 degrees.

No ground scarring or skid marks were discovered on the runway or infield of the airport; however, measurements taken from the broken runway edge light to where the airplane came to rest, revealed that the airplane had traveled 626 feet after departing the paved surface of the runway.

Both wings exhibited impact damage, and compression buckling of the upper left wing skin was evident. All three landing gear legs were damaged. The left main landing gear leg had separated from the airframe and its brake assembly had sheared off. The right main landing gear had remained attached to the airplane, however; the brake bleed valve had been broken off.

Examination of the airplane's braking system revealed that the brake fluid reservoir had fluid present on the dipstick and the brake system exhibited no evidence of preimpact damage or malfunction.

A review of the airplane's maintenance records showed that the wheel cylinders, flexible lines, toe brake cylinders, and brake linings had been replaced on September 3, 2003. No discrepancies were noted with the brake system after that date.

The airplane had operated approximately 53 hours since its most recent annual inspection, which occurred on April 11, 2005, when a functional check of all systems was performed.

According to a flight instructor who "checked out" the pilot in the airplane, they flew three or four flights together to meet insurance requirements. He also stated that the airspeed indicator read in miles per hour, and that he taught the pilot to use the airspeeds listed in the Pilot's Operating Handbook and "round them up."

The weather reported at the Sussex Airport (FWN), Sussex, New Jersey, located about 14 nautical miles west, at 1553, included variable winds at 5 knots, clear skies below 12,000 feet, temperature 77 degrees Fahrenheit, dewpoint 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and an altimeter setting of 30.12 inches of mercury.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during landing, which resulted in a collision with a drainage ditch.

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