NTSB Identification: SEA07LA133.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Saturday, May 19, 2007 in Billings, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2008
Aircraft: Beech B-99, registration: N950AA
Injuries: 1 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 pilot reported that about 40 nautical miles into the flight, he heard a "clunk" and the red unsafe light in the gear handle came on. He verified that all systems were functioning normally, and he cycled the landing gear up and down to see if that would solve the problem. The unsafe light remained illuminated. The pilot returned to the departure airport and circled for several hours to burn his fuel load down. He said that at one point he flew low over the runway so the company mechanic, with the aid of a light from an airport vehicle, could visually check the nose gear position. It was hanging out of the wheel well at approximately a 45-degree angle. Upon landing, the airplane settled to its nose during landing rollout. Examination of the airplane revealed that the nose gear actuator mount bracket area was bent and wrinkled. The nose gear actuator shaft had fractured just above the clevis bolt, which attaches to the drag brace. The failed actuator had been installed on July 26, 2006. The Beech B-99 maintenance manual states that the hydraulic actuator needs to be overhauled or replaced every 10,000 hours; maintenance records indicate that this one had 231.4 hours on it at the time of the accident. Metallurgist examined the failed actuator and concluded that all of the fractures were overstress, and no preexisting fatigue signatures were evident. The airframe had accumulated 34,613.2 hours of flying time, at the time of the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The total failure of the nose landing gear actuator and the subsequent nose gear collapse during landing.
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