NTSB Identification: LAX03LA075.
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Accident occurred Saturday, January 25, 2003 in El Monte, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2004
Aircraft: Cessna T210L, registration: N732DK
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.

The airplane experienced a collapse of the right main landing gear during a precautionary landing. The pilot had just picked up the airplane from a facility after a new avionics suite had been installed. This was the first flight after completion of the work. As the flight neared the airport of intended landing, the pilot requested and received a clearance into the traffic pattern. He had just put the landing gear switch in the down position and was reaching for the flaps when the airplane lost all electrical power. The pilot reported that the power loss was sudden, and there had been no prior indications of a decreasing electrical power reserve such as dimming lights and fading or unreadable radios. The pilot circled and attempted to rectify the problem without success. He then decided to return to the airplane's home airport. As he entered the traffic pattern, the pilot and passenger visually examined the position of both the right and left main gear, which appeared to be in the down and locked position. The pilot then extended the hand pump, pumped it a few times, and felt strong resistance from the system. About 2 seconds after touchdown, the airplane shuddered, and then veered off the right side of the runway. After exiting the airplane, the pilot noticed that the right main landing gear had folded under the fuselage. A recovery crew lifted the airplane by a sling, and manually extended the right main gear into the down and locked position, where it remained during towing operations back to the pilot's hangar. The emergency section of the POH under the emergency gear extension section says to pump the hand pump until "strong resistance is felt." Without electrical power, the landing gear warning lights and horn do not work and the pilot would have to rely on a visual inspection of the main landing gear to determine if they were in the down position. Post accident inspection of the electrical system revealed that the alternator switch contact was not functioning properly. This resulted in a lack of field current and eventual complete discharge of the battery.

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

the alternator switch contact failure, which resulted in a complete electrical failure.

Full narrative available

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