NTSB Identification: WPR09LA014
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Monday, September 29, 2008 in Fresno, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/12/2009
Aircraft: PIPER PA-31-350, registration: N27996
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 he made a firm landing and had a blown right main tire, but indicated no other problems. After replacement of both tires, the airplane continued in service for two flight sequences, flown by other pilots. Inspection by maintenance personnel revealed a line of popped rivet heads on the upper surface of the left wing above the rear spar between the nacelle and the wing fillet fairing. A close inspection discovered popped rivet heads on the left side of the fuselage below the cabin window with a gap visible in the skin lap. Inspection of both main gear wheels and tires revealed cuts and impressions in the tire sidewalls indicative of a very hard landing. Further inspection discovered buckling of both main spar webs between the fuselage and nacelles.

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

The pilot misjudged the flare resulting in a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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