NTSB Identification: WPR11LA471
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 04, 2011 in Phoenix, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/28/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-44-180, registration: N316PA
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.
The private pilot and certified flight instructor (CFI) were practicing a series of landings. The CFI said that the second and third landings were short field landings and were not excessively hard. During the landing roll on the third landing, the nose of the airplane lowered, and the CFI suspected a collapse of the oleo strut. The CFI took control of the airplane and taxied down the runway. The CFI stated that, during the taxi, he noted nothing irregular with the handling of the airplane and informed the tower air traffic controller that this was going to be a full stop landing. After contacting the ground controller, the CFI added power, and noticed that the steering had failed, so he attempted to use differential thrust to turn the airplane. He then heard the propellers contact the ground and immediately shut down both engines. After exiting the airplane, he noticed that the nose gear was extended forward and resting against the most forward fuselage rib in the wheel well. A postaccident examination revealed a fractured and separated drag link and hydraulic fluid leaking from the wheel well. Examination of the fractured surfaces revealed rough matte gray features consistent with an overstress fracture.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's improper flare and hard landing, which resulted in the failure of the nose landing gear drag link in overstress. Full narrative available
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