NTSB Identification: ERA12CA028
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 06, 2011 in Culpeper, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-201T, registration: N9268C
Injuries: 1 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.

According to the pilot/owner, the airplane sustained a loss of electrical power, and he decided to return to the airport. On the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the pilot moved the landing gear lever to the down position but did not see the three green lights or hear the landing gear extend. He then called a maintenance facility located at the airport and asked them to verify if the landing gear was down while he performed a low pass over the runway. The maintenance personnel indicated that the gear was not down; the pilot attempted an emergency gear extension procedure. After another low pass, the maintenance personnel stated that the gear was extended, and the pilot landed the airplane. During the landing roll, the right main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane veered off the runway, impacting a runway light, which resulted in substantial damage to the right wing.

A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the battery had been removed, and, therefore, the reason for an electrical failure could not be determined. Examination and operation of the landing gear revealed no anomalies. The pilot owned the airplane for about 8 years prior to the accident and had accumulated 1,650 hours of flight time in the make and model; however, the pilot could not successfully perform or articulate the emergency gear extension procedure. The pilot was also unable to locate the emergency landing gear extension procedure in the pilot’s operating handbook.

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

The pilot's inadequate knowledge of the airplane's emergency gear extension procedures, which resulted in his failure to successfully perform a manual extension of the landing gear.

Full narrative available

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