NTSB Identification: ERA09LA427
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 27, 2009 in Mount Holly, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/11/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-34-200T, registration: N1494X
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.

Prior to departure, the pilot asked the director of maintenance (DOM) to look at the landing gear switches on the airplane as the in-transit light was remaining illuminated. The DOM examined both main gear switches and cleaned the left main landing gear as it had mud and dirt on it. On previous flights, as well as the flight before the accident, the pilot also observed that the gear unsafe light had remained illuminated until the landing gear was lowered and retracted. During the accident flight, when the landing gear was retracted, the gear unsafe light remained illuminated. This time when the pilot arrived at his destination, and extended the landing gear, the left main landing gear down light would not illuminate. The pilot then retracted and extended the landing gear and the light still would not illuminate. He then retracted and lowered the landing gear several times until finally after a short and unusual delay, the left main landing gear down light illuminated. Postaccident examination of fragments of the left forward main landing gear support fitting revealed that it failed in overstress possibly as a result of a hard landing. The landing gear had shifted from its normal mounting position and the main spar had been damaged. Maintenance records revealed that 6.9 hours after a scheduled 50 hour service unscheduled maintenance was performed. Both main tires and tubes were replaced and the wheel bearings were cleaned, inspected, and repacked. A review of the airplane's maintenance records, and daily flight log did not reveal the entry of any discrepancies that accounted for the unscheduled maintenance to replace the tires and tubes or the mud on the gear switches. Furthermore, none of the repetitive gear problems which had been reported by the pilot prior to the accident had been entered into the maintenance records nor had any corrective actions been entered.

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

A hard landing on an unknown date, resulting in damage to the left main landing gear support fitting.

Full narrative available

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