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N915DJ accident description

New Jersey map... New Jersey list
Crash location 40.186944°N, 74.124723°W
Nearest city Farmingdale, NJ
40.196502°N, 74.168476°W
2.4 miles away
Tail number N915DJ
Accident date 07 Aug 2005
Aircraft type Cirrus Design Corp. SR20
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On August 7, 2005, at 1303 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus SR20, N915DJ, was substantially damaged while taxiing at Monmouth Executive Airport (BLM), Farmingdale, New Jersey. The certificated flight instructor was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight destined for Morristown Municipal Airport (MMU), Morristown, New Jersey. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot reported that while she was taxiing the airplane to the runway, it pulled to the right. As she stopped the airplane to perform a run-up, smoke was observed from the right wing. The pilot shut down the engine and exited the airplane.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that a fire appeared to originate near the right brake, and consumed a significant portion of the right wing, which resulted in substantial damage to the airplane.

Further examination of the airplane by a representative from Cirrus Design Corp. revealed that the soot residue was consistent with the fire originating at the right main landing gear brake piston and caliper, and the hydraulic brake fluid serving as fuel for the fire.

Review of the airplane's maintenance records revealed that the most recent annual inspection was completed on March 22, 2005. In addition, a 50-hour inspection was completed on June 27, 2005. Review of the maintenance records did not reveal any previous anomalies with the braking system.

Twelve days prior to the accident, the FAA published Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-05-77. Review of the bulletin revealed:


This Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) advises you, owners and operators of Cirrus Design Corporation (CDC) Model SR20 or SR22 airplanes, of possible loss of left or right braking.


We have two known occurrences in 2005 of leaking hydraulic fluid from the right brake caliper. One airplane lost directional control and hit another airplane. In the other occurrence, the hydraulic fluid caught fire at the caliper causing significant fire damage.


Examination of these brakes has shown discoloration of the calipers due to heat and hydraulic fluid leaks at the caliper piston. We believe the piston seal temperature was too hot. Helical propwash with a free castering nose wheel leads to occasional right braking during taxi for directional control. This may result in more heat and wear on the right pads than on the left...


The current preflight walk-around in the Pilot's Operating Handbook includes an inspection of the wheel and brakes for "Fluid Leaks, Condition, and Security". We recommend the preflight walk-around include a close inspection of the ground and wheel fairing of each main gear for leaking hydraulic fluid (as stated in the service advisory)..."

Review of the Safety Board's database revealed three additional similar events with Cirrus airplanes:

March 7, 2005, LAX05LA109, N517SW

August 5, 2005, MIA05LA143, N513CD

December 9, 2005, DFW06LA038, N302BY

On December 15, 2005, Cirrus Design Corp. issued optional Service Bulletin (SB) 2X-32-13, Wheel Conversion and Brake Upgrade. The purpose of the SB was to improve braking operations by increasing brake lining service life and energy absorbing capacity.

On January 18, 2006, Cirrus Design Corp. issued mandatory SB 2X-32-14, Main Landing Gear Fairing Modification for Inspection Hole. The purpose of the SB was to provide for the installation of temperature indicators on the brake assemblies and modification of the main landing gear fairings to include inspection holes that facilitate monitoring brake assembly temperature. The SB also contained instructions for trimming the main landing gear fairings to provide for additional clearance, and revising the Pilot's Operating Handbook.

On February 9, 2006, the FAA issued SAIB CE-06-30, which advised owners and operators of Cirrus airplanes about the two new service bulletins.

On May 8, 2006, the FAA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for an airworthiness directive (AD). The proposed AD would make the service bulletins mandatory for all U.S. operators of Cirrus SR-20 and SR-22 airplanes.

NTSB Probable Cause

A fire that originated at the right main landing gear brake caliper and piston, during taxi, which resulted in substantial damage to the airplane.

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