LAX05CA181
LAX05CA181

On May 14, 2005, about 1800 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28R-200, N55069, landed hard at the Ryan Field Airport, Tucson, Arizona. International Airline Training Academy was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The certified flight instructor (CFI) and the pilot undergoing instruction (PUI) were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The instructional local flight departed Tucson about 1500. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

In a written statement, the CFI stated that he had performed a total of 15-16 landings in the airplane that day with two different students. The purpose of the second flight was to practice short field and 180-degree power off landings for the PUI's commercial practical exam. The 10th landing of that flight was a 180-degree power off landing that the CFI was demonstrating. He made a touch-and-go following a landing on the 1,000-foot markers, and raised the landing gear after obtaining a positive rate of climb. After the gear were raised, the landing gear transition light was still illuminated. He cycled the gear a few more times without solving the problem. They made a full stop landing and both pilots visually inspected the gear. They could not find anything wrong with the switches and deferred the problem to maintenance.

Maintenance personnel examined the gear system and found wing ribs buckled near the left main gear. This prevented the up-limit switch from closing, which prevented the light from functioning normally. They stated that either a hard landing or a landing with excessive side loading could have caused the damage.

The CFI stated that the airplane had no mechanical failures or malfunctions during the flight.

A determination was not made regarding the identity of the crewmember that made the hard landing in the training airplane.

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