ANC02LA089
ANC02LA089

On August 1, 2002, about 1630 Alaska daylight time, a wheel-equipped Helio H-295 airplane, N50718, sustained substantial damage when the right main landing gear axle failed during landing at a remote unimproved airstrip, about 124 miles northwest of Fort Yukon, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by Circle Air of Central, Alaska, as a visual flight rules (VFR) business flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, at the time of the accident. The solo commercial pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and company VFR flight following procedures were in effect. The flight originated at a remote airstrip along Your Creek, about 40 miles north of the accident site.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on August 2, the pilot said as the airplane touched down, the right main wheel/tire separated from the landing gear. The right main landing gear leg then dug into the ground, and bent rearward. He said the fuselage structure and skin were damaged at the right main landing gear attachment point. He further stated that when he retrieved the wheel/tire, he noted that the axle was broken.

The pilot said prior to the accident there were no known mechanical anomalies with the airplane, but when he examined the broken axle he said he believed the failure was due to an "old crack."

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