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N200GC accident description

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Crash location 36.773889°N, 90.324723°W
Nearest city Poplar Bluff, MO
36.758666°N, 90.397610°W
4.2 miles away
Tail number N200GC
Accident date 24 Nov 2003
Aircraft type Cessna 340A
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On November 24, 2003, at 0800 central standard time, a Cessna 340A, N200GC, piloted by an airline transport pilot, was substantially damaged when it departed runway 36 (5,007 feet by 100 feet, asphalt) during landing at the Poplar Bluff Municipal Airport (POF), Poplar Bluff, Missouri. The nose landing gear subsequently collapsed when the aircraft encountered soft, muddy turf adjacent to the runway and impacted a berm. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The pilot reported no injuries. The flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91 and was not on a flight plan at the time of the accident. The flight departed the Jefferson City Memorial Airport on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan with an intended destination of POF. The pilot reported that he canceled his IFR flight plan prior to entering the traffic pattern at POF, completing the remainder of the flight under visual flight rules.

In the pilot's written statement, he reported that everything was normal throughout the flight until short final, just prior to touchdown. He stated that winds were from 320 degrees at 6 knots. The pilot noted that the aircraft was crabbed into the wind in order to compensate for the slight left crosswind. When he thought that the landing was assured, he selected full flaps and attempted to align the nose of the aircraft with the runway for touchdown. He stated: "I felt no right rudder control. I observed that the right rudder pedal was fully deflected to the right. I tried to get it loose or back to the normal position with my foot to no avail."

The pilot reported that after touchdown the aircraft "veered" to the left. Attempts to correct to the right were unsuccessful, according to the pilot. He noted, "I tried using differential power to maintain runway alignment but was unable. At this point, I reduced power back to the stops/idle, trying to maneuver the aircraft the best I could. During this time I had no right rudder control. Once the aircraft [came] to a complete stop, it was shut down. Before leaving the aircraft, I looked at both rudder control pedals and they both appeared to be in the normal position."

Post-accident inspections by a local mechanic and a Federal Aviation Administration Maintenance Inspector confirmed rudder control continuity and brake system integrity. Full rudder travel, without restriction or binding, was observed. Rudder pedal inputs produced the corresponding rudder movement. Although the nose landing gear had collapsed, no anomalies with the nose wheel steering system which could be attributed to a pre-impact malfunction were observed. The brake system appeared to be intact and to operate normally.

NTSB Probable Cause

Failure to maintain directional control during landing. Collapse of the nose landing gear, the muddy grass/turf and the berm were contributing factors.

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