NTSB Identification: CHI07CA109.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 13, 2007 in Walker, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/27/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-31-350, registration: N770C
Injuries: 3 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 sustained substantial damage during an inadvertent wheels-up landing. The pilot stated that he entered a left downwind for runway 32 (2,803 feet by 75 feet, asphalt) at the intended destination airport. He reported that he lowered the landing gear and completed the before landing checklist. He noted: "All indications showed that [the landing] gear was down." He reported that during the landing flare, he "felt and heard metal grinding on the runway," and immediately executed a go-around. During the go-around, the airplane exhibited a right rolling tendency. Although, the pilot was able to maintain control, he was unable to avoid striking trees during the climb out. He subsequently noticed that the flaps were still down and raised them. The pilot returned to the airport for another landing attempt. He stated: "I lined up for a short final with my gear showing down and locked, flaps set to approach setting and power at almost [maximum]. I was able to land the aircraft and taxi to the ramp without further incident, where I parked and shut down." During the post accident inspection, the landing gear was observed in the down and locked position. Visual inspection of the landing gear did not reveal any anomalies. Three green landing gear position indicator lights were illuminated when the airplane was powered up during the inspection.

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

The pilot's inadvertent failure to lower the landing gear.

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