NTSB Identification: DEN03LA017.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, November 20, 2002 in Tooele, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-201, registration: N850FS
Injuries: 2 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.
According to the instructor, the purpose of the flight was to prepare the student for dual cross-country flights and to familiarize him with the Piper PA-28R-201. Prior to this flight, the student pilot had been flying a Diamond Alarus, a training type airplane. They flew to a nearby airport, where they made three touch and go landings. On the fourth touch and go landing, the student pilot "assertively retracted the gear without warning" instead of the flaps. The right main and nose landing gear retracted and the airplane veered off the right side of the runway. The right wing struck a taxiway light, spinning the airplane around, and the left side of the fuselage struck a taxiway sign. The right wing was wrinkled and there was a gash from the leading edge back to the spar. The prop blade was bent. The left side of the fuselage was also wrinkled and buckled. According to FAA inspectors who examined the airplane, the squat switch on the landing gear had been rigged incorrectly. The squat switch actuated at .625 inches, exceeding the airplane's service manual requirement by .375 inches, or 150 percent. There were no entries in the maintenance records entries involving the squat switch. The torque seal on the squat switch mounting screws showed no signs of being disturbed.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the inadvertent retraction of the landing gear during landing roll by the dual student. Contributing factors included the dual student's lack of familiarity with the aircraft, inadequate supervision by the flight instructor, and improper rigging of the landing gear squat switch. Full narrative available
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