NTSB Identification: MIA98LA248.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 18, 1998 in TITUSVILLE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-44-180, registration: N39776
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.

The landing gear hydraulic pump was replaced and reportedly checked satisfactory during annual inspection signed off 1 day earlier. The flight departed and after reportedly lowering the landing gear selector handle, the landing gear down and locked lights did not illuminate. The pilot cycled the navigation light switch, flew by the tower and was advised the gear appeared down and locked. He retracted the gear, reentered the traffic pattern, and again lowered the gear handle, but again, there were no down and locked lights from the landing gears nor a gear unsafe light. The pilot landed the airplane and reportedly after touchdown, the left main landing gear began to collapse. The airplane veered off the left side of the runway into grass and came to rest with the left and nose landing gears down and locked; the right main landing gear was collapsed. Post accident testing of the left main landing gear revealed no evidence of failure or malfunction; the down and locked light illuminated. The hydraulic pump was removed, bench tested, and found to operate normally. Testing of hydraulic fluid revealed it was contaminated beyond allowable limits. There was no requirement by the airplane manufacturer to replace the hydraulic fluid. The pilot reported that he did not utilize the emergency gear extension.

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

The collapse of the right main landing gear for undetermined reasons. A contributing factor was the pilot's failure to execute the emergency gear extension procedure.

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