CHI97LA186
CHI97LA186

On June 26, 1997, at 1948 eastern standard time, a Hulliberger Starduster II, N939H, operated by a commercial pilot, sustained substantial damage when the landing gear collapsed during landing rollout. The commercial pilot reported minor injuries. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight departed Andrews University Airpark Airport, Berrien Springs, Michigan, for a local personal flight at 1845 eastern standard time. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

In his written statement, the pilot in command reported that after an hour long local flight he was returning to make a full stop landing on Runway 30. The pilot reported that the touchdown was, "very smooth and normal, with the power at idle." The pilot stated that during the landing rollout "the aircraft pitched forward and then rotated violently to the left." The pilot reported that during the left rotation, "the airplane rolled up onto both right wingtips, and then fell vertically onto its nose." The airplane came to rest in a nose down attitude, supported by the left wing and right main gear.

The left main landing gear axle and support tube were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board Materials Laboratory Division for inspection. The lab report states there was evidence "indicative of a preexisting brittle fracture area such as fatigue cracking." The inspection also revealed thinned areas of the tube. The full metallurgical report is an attachment to this report.

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