Excessive play in some brake parts was the probable cause of a runway accident involving airshow icon Patty Wagstaff and her V-Tail Bonanza at St. Augustine Airport in 2019. The final report on the mishap, which resulted in minor injuries for Wagstaff and her passenger, an instructor at her flight school based at St. Augustine, was released this week. The NTSB says the right brake of the Bonanza locked up on its own after Wagstaff touched it down and despite Wagstaff’s best efforts it left the runway, struck a berm and flipped. The plane was seriously damaged. At the time, Wagstaff tweeted that the incident was caused by a “mechanical issue” but didn’t elaborate.
The board said the wheel was spinning freely after the accident but they found play between the anchor bolts and their bushings in the torque plate. “Excessive caliper play can result in too much clearance between the brake pads and the brake disc,” the report said. “The excessive clearance can cause the brake pads to shift out of place and jam against the brake disc, which could result in an unintended brake application.”