May 11, 2012, Roche Harbor, Wash. Maule MX-7


The airplane was substantially damaged at about 1435 Pacific time when it veered off the runway and struck a ditch while landing. The pilot/owner was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later stated he used 40 degrees of flap for the three-point landing on Runway 7. Immediately after touchdown, the airplane veered “sharply left.” The pilot applied full right rudder and some right brake, but he could not keep the airplane on the runway. The airplane departed the left (north) side of the runway, traversed a grassy area bounding the runway, and struck a drainage ditch located about 50 feet off the runway. The propeller, cowling, fuselage, and both main landing gear were damaged. The pilot stated that he believed that a mechanical malfunction of the braking system had occurred.

The airplane was involved in a previous landing accident in 2004, before it was owned by the current owner. The NTSB determined that accident was due to mechanical malfunctions of the normal and parking brake systems. In July 2011, Maule Aircraft issued Service Letter (SL) 71, entitled “Parking Brake Control,” applicable to all Maule airplanes and considered mandatory. According to the current owner, the maintenance records did not indicate that SL 71 had been accomplished on the accident airplane.


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