NTSB Identification: CHI07CA088.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 12, 2007 in Des Moines, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-400, registration: N400VL
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was substantially damaged during a wheels-up landing following a failure of the landing gear to extend. The pilot reported that during an approach for landing, the airplane's landing gear failed to extend fully. The pilot reported that during the first attempt to lower the landing gear he heard a "metallic-sounding 'clack.'" The pilot reported that he made several attempts to lower the landing gear using both the normal and emergency extension procedures. The pilot reported that he elected to divert to another airport to perform an emergency landing. Upon reaching the alternate airport, the pilot performed a fly-by and ground personnel confirmed that the landing gear was not fully extended. The pilot elected to perform a wheels-up landing. Postaccident examination of the airplane confirmed that the landing gear would not fully extend. Further examination revealed damage to the nose landing gear steering stops, the nose landing gear down lock mechanism, and the nose landing gear wheel well sidewall. The damage to the nose landing gear was consistent with exceeding the steering limits of the nose landing gear during ground handling.

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

the nose landing gear becoming jammed in a partially extended position during flight as a result of damage to the nose landing gear by ground personnel.

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