Accident occurred Friday, June 02, 2000 at Moab, Utah
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
The pilot was taking off on runway 21. As he raised the tail for lift
off (about 50 mph, 80 kmh), the airplane 'abruptly swerved to left (90
degrees), [departed] the runway, crossed a dirt border about 6 feet
wide, flipped on its back, and slid down to the bottom of a drainage
ditch between the runway and the adjacent taxiway.' The pilot said
the airplane was equipped with Goodyear 'expanded tube' brakes, known
to lock up if overheated (brakes were used for landing and for taxi
to takeoff). An airport mechanic attempted to turn the left main
wheel by hand shortly after the accident, and found the wheel to be
binding. The right wheel turned freely. Later, he tried again and the
wheel turned freely.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable
cause(s) of this accident as follows. Overheating of the left brake,
causing the wheel to lock. Factors were the pilot not being able to
maintain directional control, a dirt berm, and a drainage ditch.