On August 26, 2006, about 1330 Alaska daylight time, a wheel equipped Piper PA-32-300 airplane, N4466T, sustained substantial damage while landing at a private airstrip about 60 miles east of Fairbanks, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91 when the accident occurred. The private pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at the Fairbanks International Airport, Fairbanks, about 1305.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on August 29, the pilot reported that he was landing to the east on a gravel-covered private airstrip, which required a correction for a slight right crosswind. The pilot stated that as the airplane touched down, it bounced slightly and settled onto the right main tire, and then the left main tire. He related that as soon as the left main tire made contact with the ground, the airplane veered sharply to the left, and the left wing struck an area of low brush and trees. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing.

The pilot said that a postaccident inspection of the airplane disclosed that the lower portion of the left main landing gear strut had fractured, and the left main tire, wheel, and axle were missing. A search for the missing wheel assembly was unsuccessful.

The upper portion of the left main landing gear strut remained attached to the airplane. The fracture origin site, located on the aluminum adapter, P/N: 7838-002, was subsequently obliterated after contacting the ground during the airplane's landing roll, which precluded any further metallurgical investigation.

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