SEA93LA210
SEA93LA210

On September 24, 1993, at approximately 1915 mountain daylight time (MDT), an experimental White BD-5, N273GW, experienced a nose gear collapse while landing at Helena Regional Airport, Helena, Montana. The FAA certificated commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant of the aircraft, was not injured, but the aircraft sustained substantial damage. The personal pleasure flight, which was being conducted in the local traffic pattern, had departed the same airport about one hour and 15 minutes earlier. At the time of the accident, the aircraft was operating in visual meteorological conditions, and there was no report of an ELT transmission.

According to the pilot, who only had a total of five hours flight time in this make and model aircraft, he allowed his airspeed to get low while attempting a touch-and-go landing. The low airspeed resulted in the aircraft dropping hard onto the runway, followed by a collapse of the nose gear. This resulted in the aircraft sliding down the runway on its nose section. As it slid, the aircraft swerved off the left side of the runway and into a runway light. The impact with the light severed a fuel line or fractured the right fuel tank, and sparks from the lighting system ignited the spilling fuel. The aircraft then caught fire resulting in substantial damage to its forward portion.

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