FTW95LA212
FTW95LA212

On May 19, 1995, at 1910 central daylight time, a Piper PA-23-160, N3245P, was substantially damaged during landing near Owasso, Oklahoma. The commercial pilot and his passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. The personal flight originated at Gundys Airport at Owasso, Oklahoma, at 1845.

In an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot reported that he retracted the landing gear shortly after takeoff, the passenger commented on how the gear "seemed to retract very slowly." The pilot proceeded to cycle the gear several times and "distinctly remembers smelling hydraulic fluid."

He further reported that he elected to return to the airport to land, but when he placed the gear selector in the down position, he "got red lights." He proceeded to "engage the blow-down bottle and observed green lights for the main gear only." The pilot further stated that for the next 20 to 30 minutes, he attempted to extend the nose gear by gravity, to no avail.

The pilot elected to land on the grass area adjacent to the runway with the main gears extended and the nose gear unlocked. The pilot stated that the airplane touched down on the main landing gear and as speed decreased the nose lowered to ground contact. The airplane slid for 261 feet before coming to a stop.

During an examination of the aircraft the FAA inspector noted that the hydraulic pump was damaged and that there was no evidence of hydraulic fluid in the system.

An inspection of the aircraft logbooks by the FAA inspector revealed "recurring hydraulic system maintenance." On May 4, 1994, the hydraulic pump was repaired and on October 9, 1993, the hydraulic power pack was re-built.

Numerous attempts to have the pilot/operator complete the NTSB Form 6120.1/2 were unsuccessful.

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