FTW00LA193
FTW00LA193

On July 4, 2000, at 1408 central daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140 airplane, N1709T, was substantially damaged during a landing at the Majors Airport near Greenville, Texas. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. The private pilot sustained minor injuries, and his passenger was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight originated from Commerce, Texas, about 1300.

In the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the pilot reported that he had completed two touch and go landings. While turning left base to runway 17 for the third landing, he noticed that the "controls were heavy - this had not been a problem on the two previous" touch and go landings. The pilot further reported that he turned final with an airspeed of 90 knots, and at the approach end of the runway, he reduced power and airspeed to 70 knots. Approximately 20-30 feet above the numbers, "the nose pitched down suddenly." He applied power, pulled back on the control yoke and was able to "level" the airplane. The pilot stated that the airplane struck the runway in a level attitude, bounced once, and skidded to a stop.

According to the Greenville Operation's Fire Control Incident Report, the pilot and passenger both stated that "their approach had been smooth and normal and when they were approximately 15 feet high the aircraft lost lift and fell straight down." In addition, the weather at the "general time of the incident was wind from 168 degrees at 12 knots."

Examination of the aircraft by an FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, revealed that the nose and both main landing gear were sheared off. The firewall was buckled, and the left wing's upper and lower surfaces were wrinkled. The fuselage under the copilot station was buckled upward. Flight control continuity was established to the ailerons, but not to the rudder and elevator due to the firewall and fuselage damage. The elevator trim tab "appeared" to be in the neutral position.

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