Fallbrook Airport, Fallbrook, CA

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Airport Area Accident History:
Accident occurred Thursday, December 06, 2007 in Fallbrook, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 2/28/2008
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N44528
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
While on approach for landing, the airplane encountered a downdraft. The pilot attempted to arrest the sink rate by applying full power; however, the airplane landed hard and short of the runway, damaging surrounding vegetation and a runway edge light. After the hard landing the pilot was able to get the airplane airborne again and he decided to return to his home base airport. During the flight back to his home airport the left wheel and strut fell from the airplane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's misjudged distance and altitude that led to an undershoot and a failure to obtain the proper touchdown point.

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Accident occurred Thursday, May 04, 2006 in Fallbrook, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 4/25/2007
Aircraft: Bell 206B3, registration: N2763R
Injuries: 2 Minor.
The helicopter collided with trees following a failure of the engine to transmission drive shaft. After finishing a final rinse load for the agricultural spray operation, the pilots began the short return flight back to a trailer. While maneuvering about 20 feet above ground level (agl), and about 5 feet above the treetops, the helicopter made an uncommanded yaw and settled into the trees. A post accident examination revealed that the engine to transmission drive shaft (short shaft) was separated at the forward coupling flange, adjacent to the transmission. Investigators removed the rust-covered engine to transmission drive shaft forward coupling from the gear. The retainer ring, packing seal, and drive shaft coupling seal were not attached to the coupling and dangling loosely on the drive shaft tube. A visual examination of the internal coupling revealed that grease retainer plate had a shiny polished appearance from the gear sprocket making repetitive
contact with its surface. The engine to transmission drive shaft forward gear sprocket teeth were not present, as a result of overheating and persistent contact, which had worn them smooth. On the face of the gear sprocket there was a semicircular indentation that had the shape and dimension consistent with that of a partial impression of the spring that is normally inside the coupling. Pieces of the spring were found deformed in the aft coupling housing. There was no evidence of grease in the forward coupling, and the aft coupling contained grease that was dirty and black. The operator's component card record for the engine to transmission drive shaft indicated that it was last inspected about 2 months prior to the accident at which time a mechanic repacked the couplings with grease. The helicopter's applicable Maintenance Manual indicated that every 600-hour or 12-month period (whichever occurs first) the main drive shaft component should be
inspected.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

Failure of the engine to transmission drive shaft forward coupling due to overheating from lack of lubrication. The cause of the lack of lubrication was a result of improper maintenance. A factor was the trees.

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Accident occurred Monday, January 09, 2006 in Fallbrook, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 4/25/2006
Aircraft: Bellanca 7KCAB, registration: N36382
Injuries: 1 Minor.
The airplane veered off the runway and collided with trees while performing a touch-and-go takeoff and landing. The student pilot said that airplane bounced slightly and he pulled back on the control stick to cushion the second touchdown. After the airplane settled onto the runway, a gust of wind lifted the right wing. The left wing was pushed into the ground, rotating the airplane to the right. At that point the airplane was traveling towards parked airplanes in the transient area. The student pilot attempted to correct back to the runway with the use of full left rudder and left brake; however, his flight control inputs did not affect the direction of travel. He applied full throttle to get airborne again and steer the airplane back towards the runway, but collided with trees on the east side of the airport. Reported winds in the area were from 010 to 030 degrees between 4 to 10 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

the student pilot's inadequate compensation for a crosswind condition and his failure to maintain directional control.

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Accident occurred Friday, July 29, 2005 in Fallbrook, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 7/31/2006
Aircraft: Beech B23, registration: N6121N
Injuries: 1 Minor.
The airplane veered off the runway and collided with an unoccupied parked airplane following the pilot's loss of directional control during the landing rollout. The pilot's approach to the airport was normal, and the airplane touched down without mishap near the centerline of runway 18. The wind was from 180 degrees, at 8 knots. The pilot said the airplane swerved left after he applied brakes and he could not regain control. Left and right tire skid marks were observed on the tarmac leading from the runway to the accident airplane. No evidence was found or any mechanical malfunction with the airplane's brakes, wheels, or tires.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing rollout.

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Accident occurred Saturday, March 11, 2000 in Fallbrook, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 182Q, registration: N95996
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.
A witness observed the airplane taxi from the pilot's hangar to the runway without conducting an engine run-up. Shortly after takeoff, the engine lost power. Witnesses reported that the airplane cleared utility lines and then pitched nose down, impacting terrain in a nose low attitude. The passenger stated that she didn't think that the private pilot performed an engine run-up prior to takeoff. She added that after the engine lost power, the pilot reached down to the lower section of the center column area and turned something. The fuel selector valve is located on the bottom of the center control column and is operated by manually rotating the selector valve handle to one of the four positions; OFF, LEFT, BOTH, and RIGHT. The fuel selector valve was found in the left fuel tank position. Fuel was found in the fuel line immediately upstream of the boost pump, however, no fuel was found between the gascolator and the boost pump. The airplane had been
modified by STC for a Continental IO-550 engine; part of the installation involved installing a 1-quart capacity header tank between the selector and fuel control unit. The engine was operated on a test stand and no anomalies were noted that would have prevented its operation. One of the witnesses was also an acquaintance of the pilot and reported that the pilot was in the habit of turning the fuel selector to the off position when the he hangared his aircraft. This was due to instances in the past in which fuel had leaked on his hangar floor when the fuel selector had not been turned off. He added that the pilot experienced a loss of engine power while taxiing in the past due to the fuel selector being in the off position. The Preflight Inspection, Before Starting Engine, and Before Takeoff checklists instruct the pilot to place the fuel selector valve in the on or both position. Toxicological tests on the pilot were positive for paroxetine, and
verapamil. Paroxetine is a prescription antidepressant drug and verapamil is a prescription medication for high blood pressure. The paroxetine is not approved by the FAA for use during flight; however current medical literature shows the drug does not appear to have adverse performance effects when taken in therapeutic dosages. The subtle effects of higher than normal doses have not been systematically investigated, though symptoms of over dosages have been reported to include sedation and dizziness. The pilot did not report the use of the aforementioned medications on his last application for an airman medical certificate.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

the loss of engine power resulting from fuel starvation due to the pilot's inadequate pre-flight inspection, inadequate performance of the pre-takeoff checklist, and failure to ensure that the fuel selector was properly positioned prior to takeoff. Also causal was the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed while attempting to clear a power line during the ensuing forced landing, which resulted in an inadvertent stall.



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