NTSB Identification: ANC97IA035.
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Scheduled 14 CFR
Incident occurred Saturday, March 15, 1997 in KOTZEBUE, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-31-350, registration: N3542H
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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

The airplane was landed with the landing gear retracted because the pilot was unable to lower the left main landing gear, although the nose gear and the right main landing gear would extend and lock properly. Postaccident inspection disclosed a fractured left main landing gear door hinge. The door hinge was the new, improved, version of an older hinge which had a history of cracking in the radius of the hinge. The hinge on the incident airplane was a replacement hinge mandated by an airworthiness directive. The replacement hinge also fractured in the radius. A review of Service Difficulty Reports disclosed at least eight other instances of cracks in the new hinge.

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

the jammed main landing gear which was caused by a binding main landing gear door with a broken hinge. The fractured, inadequate main landing gear door hinge was also causal.

Full narrative available

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