NTSB Identification: CHI05LA109.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, May 03, 2005 in Bismarck, ND
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-31T, registration: N2338V
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 was substantially damaged during an emergency landing when the landing gear did not extend properly. The pilot noted that when he attempted to lower the landing gear on approach to the intended destination nothing happened. He elected to divert to an airport with additional capabilities and assistance available. The pilot stated that he executed the emergency gear extension procedure, however, this procedure was not successful. The left main landing gear appeared to be fully extended, the nose landing gear was in a "dragging" condition, and the right main landing gear was retracted when observed by the tower controller prior to landing. The pilot noted that the red gear unlocked indicator light was illuminated and the green landing gear down/locked indicators were not illuminated. Since no further options were available to extend the gear, the pilot executed an emergency landing. The airplane touched down on the left main wheel which did not collapse initially. The right wing subsequently dropped and contacted the runway. The pilot applied left wheel brakes, however, the airplane departed the right side of the runway pavement and came to rest in the grass. The left main landing gear collapsed and a runway light was damaged in the process. The post-accident inspection revealed that a hydraulic powerpak drain line (Piper part number 46138-00) was ruptured. The drain line was located in the nose section of the airplane, forward of the cabin pressure bulkhead. The rupture was approximately one-half inch long. Hydraulic fluid was observed in the vicinity of the line rupture. The hydraulic reservoir was empty.

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

Rupture of the hydraulic powerpak drain line which resulted in a loss of hydraulic fluid and the inability to properly lower the landing gear despite the pilot's execution of the emergency extension procedures. A contributing factor was the runway light struck during the emergency landing.

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