On March 25, 2005, about 1220 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-23-250, N11EG, registered to a private individual, experienced collapse of the nose landing gear during the landing roll at Palm Beach International Airport, West Palm Beach, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight from Treasure Cay Airport, Abaco Island, Bahamas, to Palm Beach International Airport. The airplane was substantially damaged and the private-rated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight originated about 1130, from Treasure Cay Airport. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that the flight proceeded to the destination airport and was cleared to land on runway 9R. A strong crosswind "caused me to come in slightly higher and faster-I decided to do a go around and did so with no problem...." The tower controller advised him to enter a downwind for runway 9R again, but never gave wind speed or direction. He reentered the traffic pattern for runway 9R, turned onto final approach, where a "tremendous" crosswind was blowing then stopped abruptly, allowing the plane to fly south of the runway. He made the decision to land rather than try to correct for the drift because the airspeed was too slow. The airplane landed further on the taxiway than he wanted, and he realized there was insufficient taxiway remaining to stop the airplane. He again made the decision to remain on the ground and with obstructions ahead, veered the aircraft to the left. While on the ground, the airplane encountered a 5-foot dropoff, which caused the nose gear to collapse and subsequent propeller contact. The airplane slid approximately 10 to 15 feet and came to rest upright. He further stated there was no mechanical malfunction or failure.
National Transportation Safety Board review of a voice tape from the Palm Beach International Airport Air Traffic Control Tower revealed the pilot was provided the wind direction and velocity (160 degrees at 10 knots) when the flight was cleared to land for the first approach. Prior to the second approach, the controller advised the pilot that the wind was from 170 degrees at 11 knots.
According to the FAA inspector who examined the accident site, the airplane landed on a closed taxiway on the centerline, traveled off the taxiway onto grass, across another taxiway, and down a small depression where the nose landing gear dug in causing it to collapse.