NTSB Identification: ERA11CA396
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 10, 2011 in Plant City, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-30, registration: N325EE
Injuries: 2 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 pilot stated that he departed and proceeded to a nearby airport where he performed six touch-and-go takeoffs and landings followed by one full-stop landing, all of which were uneventful. Before landing during the return flight, the pilot lowered the landing gear lever and observed that there were no landing gear down-and-locked indications and that the landing gear circuit breaker (CB) was tripped. The pilot reset the CB and attempted to raise then lower the landing gear; however, the landing gear failed to fully extend, and the landing gear CB tripped again. Attempts to extend the landing gear using the emergency extension lever in accordance with the Pilot’s Operating Handbook, using G-loading, and following guidance from maintenance personnel were unsuccessful. The pilot performed a fly-by and was informed that the landing gear appeared to be partially extended. The pilot turned off the fuel and master and placed the mixture controls to idle-cutoff. At touchdown, the right main landing gear collapsed, followed by the left, then the nose. The airplane came to rest on the runway. Postaccident examination of the nose landing gear revealed that a screw was broken off in the first thread of the nose landing gear aligner assembly. The head of the screw and associated bushings were separated and not located. No determination was made for the reason for the fractured screw. The manufacturer’s assessment indicated there have been no service difficulty reports pertaining to the screw.

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

The failure of a screw in the nose landing gear aligner assembly for undetermined reasons, which prevented the landing gear from fully extending.

Full narrative available

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