NTSB Identification: LAX95LA232.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 01, 1995 in VAN NUYS, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/29/1996
Aircraft: CESSNA 401A, registration: N444RJ
Injuries: 5 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE AIRCRAFT WAS MAKING A RIGHT-HAND TURN IN THE RUN-UP AREA AT A SLOW SPEED WHEN THE LEFT MAIN LANDING GEAR COLLAPSED. THE SIDE BRACE FOR THE MAIN LANDING GEAR IS ATTACHED TO A CASTING, WHICH IN TURN IS BOLTED TO THE INBOARD WING RIB IN THE LANDING GEAR WHEEL WELL. EXAMINATION REVEALED THAT THE WING RIB WEB CRACKED AROUND THE CASTING, WHICH ALLOWED THE SIDE BRACE TO MOVE AND THE LANDING GEAR TO COLLAPSE. PORTIONS OF THE CRACK APPEARED DISCOLORED AND OLD. REVIEW OF THE AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE RECORDS REVEALED NO HISTORY OF LANDING GEAR DAMAGE OR HARD LANDING RELATED MAINTENANCE ACTIVITY. THE AIRCRAFT WAS LAST INSPECTED DURING AN ANNUAL INSPECTION 7 MONTHS AND 60 FLIGHT HOURS PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT. CESSNA AIRCRAFT COMPANY REPORTED THAT IN RESPONSE TO CRACKS FOUND ON THE INBOARD WING RIB WEB AROUND THE SIDE BRACE FITTING, SERVICE LETTER ME76-2 WAS ISSUED ON JANUARY 5, 1976. THE LETTER DETAILS THE INSTALLATION OF A STEEL REINFORCEMENT/DOUBLER PLATE ON THE WING RIB WEB BEHIND THE LANDING GEAR SIDE BRACE FITTING. INSPECTION OF THE AIRCRAFT REVEALED THAT SERVICE LETTER ME76-2 WAS NOT ACCOMPLISHED.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the failure of the wing rib web due to undetected cracking in an area of known crack development around the landing gear side brace fitting. The operator's failure to accomplish a Service Letter addressing the problem is a factor in the accident.

Full narrative available

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