NTSB Identification: FTW95LA383.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 08, 1995 in GREELEY, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/14/1996
Aircraft: PIPER PA-23, registration: N2291P
Injuries: 1 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.

AFTER ENTERING THE PATTERN ON RETURN FROM A LOCAL AREA PERSONAL FLIGHT, THE PILOT COULD NOT GET A DOWN-AND-LOCKED INDICATION OF THE NOSE LANDING GEAR. THE AIRPORT MANAGER INFORMED THE PILOT THAT ALL THREE LANDING GEAR APPEARED TO BE IN THE DOWN POSITION, AND SUGGESTED THAT HE CHECK THE LIGHT BULB AND CIRCLE UNTIL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT ARRIVED. THE PILOT REPLIED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE THEN LANDED THE AIRCRAFT IN A GRASS AREA BETWEEN THE RUNWAY AND TAXIWAY. THIS GRASS AREA WAS ROUGH AND UNEVEN. THE LANDING GEAR REMAINED DOWN AND LOCKED DURING THE LANDING ROLL. EXAMINATION OF THE AIRCRAFT REVEALED THE NOSE LANDING GEAR MICRO-SWITCH WAS OUT OF ADJUSTMENT. IN THE EVENT OF A NOSE LANDING GEAR UNSAFE INDICATION, THE AIRCRAFT OPERATING PROCEDURES WERE TO CONDUCT A NORMAL FULL FLAP LANDING AND HOLD THE NOSE GEAR FROM TOUCHING DOWN AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER IN-FLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION BY INADVERTENTLY SELECTING A LESS SUITABLE AREA FOR LANDING (THAN THE RUNWAY). FACTORS RELATING TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: A MALFUNCTION OF THE NOSE LANDING GEAR MICRO-SWITCH, WHICH RESULTED IN A FALSE INDICATION THAT THE NOSE LANDING GEAR WAS NOT DOWN-AND-LOCKED, AND ROUGH/UNEVEN TERRAIN IN THE SELECTED (GRASS) LANDING AREA BESIDE THE RUNWAY.

Full narrative available

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