ERA10LA107
ERA10LA107

On December 6, 2009, about 1215 eastern standard time, a Maule M-5-220C, N51620, was substantially damaged following a collapse of the right main landing gear, at LaGrange-Callaway Airport (LGC), LaGrange, Georgia. The certificated private pilot/owner and his passenger were not injured. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed.

An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Standards District Office in Atlanta, Georgia, was conducting a ramp check at LGC several weeks after the accident when he noticed the damaged airplane, which was tied down in its usual location. The inspector determined that the pilot had not reported the damage, or the event that caused it, either to the FAA or to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Follow-up activity by the inspector revealed that the right wing and right main landing gear were substantially damaged. Each main landing gear consisted of two upper struts and one lower strut. The upper ends of the three struts attached to the fuselage, and the lower ends attached to the respective main wheel fitting. The lower strut of the right main gear was buckled, which permitted the right main landing gear to collapse, and the right wing to contact the ground.

According to the pilot, after landing on runway 13, he turned left onto the first taxiway. He stated that as he began the turn, "the right landing gear collapsed" and the "right wing tip and propeller struck the ground."

FAA records indicated that the airplane was manufactured in 1974, and that it was equipped with a Franklin 6A-350 series piston engine. The airplane was first registered to the pilot in 1981. Further information regarding the airplane's condition and maintenance history were never provided to the NTSB, despite several requests to both the FAA and the airplane's owner. Review of FAA Airworthiness Directives and Maule Service Bulletins revealed that no additional mandatory or recommended maintenance or inspection procedures regarding the M-5 main landing gear were issued.

FAA records indicated that the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued in July, 2008. He reported a total flight time of 723 hours, with 479 hours in the accident airplane.

FAA records indicated that LGC was equipped with a single asphalt runway, designated 13-31, that measured 5,599 feet by 150 feet. Airport elevation was listed as 693 feet above mean sea level. The airport was not equipped with a control tower. The first taxiway that intersected runway 13 was located approximately 1,500 feet from the threshold, and was oriented perpendicular to the runway centerline.

The 1215 recorded weather observation at LGC included winds from 130 degrees at 7 knots, 10 miles visibility, temperature 5 degrees C, dew point 2 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.27 inches of mercury.

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