NTSB Identification: FTW98LA060.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 30, 1997 in LUBBOCK, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-250, registration: N6661P
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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

During the initial takeoff departure climb, the gear would not retract and the pilot returned to the airport where a mechanic examined the gear, serviced the struts, and performed a retraction test (gear were extended and retracted 3 consecutive times). Subsequently, the flight departed on the cross country flight with a planned refueling stop. During the approach, the gear would not extend. The pilot maneuvered in the area and performed the emergency gear extension procedures; however, the gear would not go beyond 1/2 extension. During the final approach to the runway, the pilot shut down the engine and the airplane landed short of the runway. The FAA inspector and a mechanic found that the 'slide tubes on the main gear had accumulated a lot of dirt causing some binding on their normal operation. This binding consistently caused the gear electric motor circuit breaker to pop.' The gear could be extended manually by the FAA inspector and the mechanic. Flight time since the last annual inspection was 57 hours.

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

The inadequate maintenance of the landing gear assembly by maintenance personnel resulting in a partial gear extension, and the pilot's misjudgment of a proper touchdown point to intentionally shut down the engine resulting in the airplane landing short of the runway. A factor was the soft terrain.

Full narrative available

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