CHI01LA096
CHI01LA096

On February 27, 2001, at 1701 central standard time, a Piper PA-30, N8196Y, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged during a precautionary landing, to runway 29 (6,501 feet by 150 feet, concrete), at the Outagamie County Regional Airport, Appleton, Wisconsin. The aircraft undershot the runway striking a runway approach light and came to rest about 10 feet from the approach end of the runway. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91 and was not on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The pilot and pilot rated passenger were not injured. The local flight originated at 1630.

In a written statement, the pilot stated that the flight was conducted to practice instrument approaches. He said that on one of the approaches, the green landing gear down indicator light did not illuminate. He said that he attempted to troubleshoot the problem but could not get a gear down indication. He said that he performed the emergency gear extension procedures and opened the gear actuator panel, located in the cockpit floor, and the actuator mechanism appeared to be "properly positioned." He said that he decided to land and, when on short final, he "cut the engines in order to minimize propeller/engine damage in the event of gear collapse." He said that. "the aircraft mushed in shortly after that, contacting the ground in a level attitude." He stated that , "factors leading to this outcome were: The approach was flown down the glideslope at 3 degree slope, which left insufficient altitude for a dead stick landing; there were moderate headwinds; the aircraft had full fuel and a 200# safety pilot on board, whereas I usually fly alone; half flaps were used to reduce stalling speed and consequent damage in the event of a gear collapse, thus increasing drag over what it is with my normal routine to land without flaps; in retrospect, I cut the power too soon."

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