NTSB Identification: CHI90LA031.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39868.
Accident occurred Monday, November 20, 1989 in PLAINWELL, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/25/1991
Aircraft: HELIO H-391B, registration: N8750R
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 PILOT STATED THAT DURING TOUCHDOWN, HE LOST DIRECTIONAL CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT AND IT SWERVED OFF THE LEFT SIDE OF THE RUNWAY. THE AIRCRAFT'S LEFT MAIN LANDING GEAR COLLAPSED WHEN IT RAN THROUGH SOFT TERRAIN IN A DITCH. THE AIRCRAFT CAME TO A STOP ABOUT 200 FEET FROM THE EDGE OF THE RUNWAY. A POST-ACCIDENT EXAMINATION OF THE AIRCRAFT REVEALED THAT THE CROSS-WIND LANDING GEAR LOCK SYSTEM WAS IMPROPERLY RIGGED. THE LEFT MAIN LANDING GEAR LOCK PIN FAILED TO ENGAGE AND THE LEFT MAIN GEAR WAS FREE TO 'CASTER' DURING TOUCHDOWN AND ON THE LANDING ROLL, WHILE THE RIGHT MAIN GEAR REMAINED LOCKED. THE PILOT HAD RECENTLY PURCHASED THE AIRCRAFT. HE STATED THAT HE SHOULD HAVE PERFORMED A MORE THOROUGH PRE-PURCHASE INSPECTION. HE HAD 175 HOURS TOTAL FLIGHT TIME, WITH 17 HOURS IN THIS MAKE AND MODEL OF AIRCRAFT. HE HAD RECEIVED SPECIFIC INSTRUCTION IN THE AIRCRAFT, BECAUSE OF ITS UNCOMMON DESIGN AND CHARACTERISTICS.

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

FAILURE OF THE CROSSWIND LANDING GEAR SYSTEM TO ENGAGE ON THE LEFT MAIN GEAR DUE TO IMPROPER RIGGING ADJUSTMENT BY MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: UNFAVORABLE WIND CONDITIONS (GUSTS AND QUARTERING CROSSWIND) AND SOFT TERRAIN IN THE DITCH.

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