AAIB investigation to Piper PA-28-161 Cadet, G-BPJS
Loss of directional control on landing, Fairoaks Airport, 23 February 2016.
The student pilot was landing on asphalt Runway 24 at Fairoaks, having performed two previous successful touch-and-goes. His instructor, watching from the control tower, saw the aircraft make an apparently normal touchdown but, when all three wheels were on the ground, it appeared to swing to the right and then to the left before leaving the runway paved surface and coming to a halt on the grass. The reported wind was 330°/6 kt and the runway surface had been dry.
The student reported that he had landed centrally on the runway but had felt that the right wing had been slightly raised. He used the rudder to steer the aircraft to the right but realised that he had over-corrected and now had to use left rudder to compensate. He believes that he may have inadvertently touched the left brake as well, putting the aircraft into a skid and causing it to slide off the runway. Upon examination, it was found that the nose landing gear leg had been bent to the left.
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Published: 9 June 2016
Date of occurrence: 23 February 2016