NTSB Identification: WPR11LA292
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 21, 2011 in Phoenix, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/17/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 320F, registration: N6160Q
Injuries: 3 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 while conducting a preflight inspection of the airplane he observed that the left main landing gear strut appeared low. He contacted a maintenance facility to service the strut and to fill the oxygen bottle. Once maintenance was finished, the pilot and passengers loaded the airplane and departed. During the initial climb, the pilot heard a noise as he raised the landing gear handle; he visually checked the landing gear and observed that the nose landing gear was partially retracted. He cycled the landing gear multiple times; however, there was no change in the landing gear's position. The pilot elected to land the airplane on the runway with the nose gear partially retracted. During the landing, the pilot kept the airplane slow with the nose gear off of the ground as long as possible. When the nose gear contacted the runway, the airplane skidded to a stop. A postaccident examination of the airframe by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the landing gear actuator push-pull tube end bolt was still secured tightly to the rod end; however, it was disconnected from the nose gear door hinge clevis. No damage was noted to the rod end bolt or the clevis, ruling out a mechanical impact-related force separating the two. The maintenance technician who worked on the airplane noted that he had the nose gear doors disconnected to gain access to the oxygen bottle valve and control cable and, after filling the bottle, thought he had reconnected both doors. He said that he normally installs the bolt and nut back into the actuating rod end finger-tight so he does not lose them. Inspection of the left gear door actuating rod revealed the bolt and nut run up tight against the rod end, requiring a wrench to do so.

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

The mechanic's failure to properly secure the nose landing gear actuator push-pull tube to the landing gear door hinge clevis, which resulted in the gear jamming and not fully retracting after takeoff.

Full narrative available

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