On June 2, 2007, at 1530 central daylight time, a single-engine Piper PA-28R-200 airplane, N4977S, was substantially damaged when the right main landing gear collapsed during taxi, following a landing at the Aransas County Airport (RKP), near Rockport, Texas. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. No flight plan was filed and visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The flight originated from the New Braunfels Municipal Airport (BAZ) near New Braunfels, Texas, at 1430. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported in the accident report (NTSB Form 6120.1) that upon touchdown on Runway14, the airplane felt "spongy or squirrelly" and a propeller strike occurred. The pilot then pulled back on the controls to raise the nose of the airplane. When the airplane settled, it immediately pulled to the right. The pilot further stated that there were "two loud thumps" and the right wing struck the runway. The airplane then came to a complete stop.
The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. The pilot's most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued June 4, 2007, and the last flight review was completed on January 7, 2006. The pilot had accumulated a total of 196 flight hours, with 60 hours in the same make and model airplane.
The 1970 Piper PA-28R-200 is a low-wing airplane with retractable tricycle landing gear. A 200-horsepower Lycoming IO-360 engine powered the airplane. The last annual inspection was performed on August 11, 2006. The total time on the airframe, at the time of the inspection was reported at 2,900 hours.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector, who responded to the accident site, reported that he found all three propeller blades curled at the tips and loose on the propeller hub. He also stated that there were signatures of propeller strikes on the runway surface, prior to the area where the right wing impacted the runway.
A review of photographs taken at the accident site revealed the right wing of the airplane resting on the landing gear strut, which had separated from it's attach point and was lying under the wing. The left main and nose landing gear were in the down and locked position. Approximately a one-foot square section of the right wing skin and the support structure, located above the right wing landing strut, was protruding up through the wing skin. The FAA inspector added that he was unable to find any major rust/corrosion on the right landing gear, or the surrounding structure.
In a telephone interview with the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC), the airport manager reported that there were propeller strike marks 1,000 feet from the approach end of the runway and about 6 inches to the right of the runway centerline. In the area of the propeller marks, the manager also found propeller seals and rings. About another 1,000 feet down the runway, on the right side and prior to the right wingtip scar, was a landing gear tire scuffmark. The manager additionally reported that the runway surface was less than 3 months old.
The automated weather reporting facility at RKP, reported winds from 140 degrees at 10 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, clear skies, temperature 30 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 22 degrees Fahrenheit, and a barometric pressure of 29.85 inches of Mercury.