Jodel DR1051-M1 Sicile Record, G-BHTC
Following an uneventful flight from Beccles, Soffolk, the aircraft made an approach to land on Runway 27 at Turweston Airfield. The wind was light and almost aligned with runway, and the aircraft touched down on the centreline shortly after passing the threshold. However, after landing, with the main and tail wheels on the ground, as the pilot applied the wheel brakes using the hand operated lever, the aircraft swung slightly to the right. A left rudder input was made, but this resulted in a larger swing to the left, followed by a very sharp swing to the right as corrective right rudder was applied. This caused the aircraft to leave the right edge of the runway at a speed of around 10 kt before coming to a halt in an adjacent crop. This aircraft is equipped with a hydraulic braking system operated by a ‘handbrake’ style lever in the cockpit, which applies braking effort to both main wheels. In addition, differential braking is available from the rudder pedals, which become effective at approximately half-travel. The pilot commented that during the evening prior to the incident, he had turned the aircraft around by hand whilst it was parked. Although the parking brake was ‘lightly set’ at the time, the left wheel appeared to rotate relatively easily compared with the right. This subsequently led him to believe it possible that the hand operated brake may have developed a bias to the right wheel. However, this could not be confirmed as, by the time he mentioned the matter to the organisation repairing the aircraft, the brakes had already been dismantled. The pilot additionally commented that if there had been a brake bias, this may have initiated the swing to the right after landing, with the subsequent swings being the result of large rudder pedal deflections that applied differential braking. He also noted that the use of the handbrake had probably been unnecessary, as there was adequate runway remaining.
Jodel DR1051-M1 Sicile Record, G-BHTC 11-09.pdf (265.43 kb)
Date of occurrence: 14 June 2009