ERA10IA378
ERA10IA378

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 26, 2010 at 0818 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 402C, N26150, operated by Nantucket Shuttle, sustained minor damage following a gear-up landing at Barnstable Municipal Airport (HYA), Hyannis, Massachusetts. The certificated airline transport pilot and seven passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a company flight plan was filed for the flight which departed Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK), Nantucket, Massachusetts, about 0805. The non-scheduled passenger flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135.

In a written statement, the pilot/owner/operator said that he was on final approach as he slowed the airplane and incrementally increased the flap settings. He lowered the landing gear about the same time that he deployed the first 15 degrees of flaps, but made no mention of the landing gear lights having been illuminated. When the airplane was "over the numbers," he "added the last of the flaps, 45 degrees." According to the pilot, the airplane then encountered turbulence, bounced, and with the throttles in the idle position, the gear warning horn sounded. The airplane then "hit, with no gear" and slid to a stop.

In a written statement, one passenger explained, "When the plane landed, it felt like the wheels were down, and then they collapsed. We slid down the runway until we stopped…The airplane did not go back up into the air."

In a written statement, a second passenger added that he "would have to say it was almost like we floated into a skid upon landing. There was no jarring, it felt like a normal landing and then were in a skid."

In a written statement, a witness said that he was talking with a friend as they watched the airplanes take off and land at HYA. He said the accident airplane was "just over the fence at Rt. 28 (heading north) and I said to J.O. 'This guy may want to put his landing gear down.' J.O. turned and looked west as within seconds we saw the plane skid across the runway to a stop…" In a telephone interview, the witness told a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector that the airplane's landing gear remained retracted through the entire approach and landing.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane multiengine land, and a commercial pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued in July 2010. The pilot reported 5,500 total hours of flight experience; of which, 2,500 were in the Cessna 402.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1979. According to the operator, the airplane had accrued 14,580 total aircraft hours. It's most recent annual inspection was completed March 25, 2010 at 14,560 aircraft hours.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

At 0756, the weather conditions reported at HYA included clear skies, with visibility 10 miles, and winds from 300 degrees at 6 knots. The temperature was 22 degrees Celsius (C), the dewpoint was 13 degrees C, and the altimeter setting was 29.89 inches of mercury.

WRECKAGE INFORMATION

The airplane was examined at the site by the FAA aviation inspector. The airplane's landing gear was fully retracted, and the nose landing gear doors were undamaged except for exterior surface scratches. The flap setting was estimated at 8 degrees, and the flap handle rested between the 15-degree and flaps-up position. The landing gear handle was in the down position. On July 27, 2010, the airplane was placed on jacks and the landing gear was extended and retracted under the supervision of the FAA inspector, with no deficiencies noted.

Examination revealed that the main landing gear showed no scratches, scrapes, or any other evidence of abnormal contact with the runway.

According to the inspector, he explained to the pilot/operator that the damage to the airplane was not consistent with collapsed landing gear. The pilot then suggested that he must have struck the landing gear handle with his knee when the airplane bounced, which retracted the gear before the second touchdown. After conducting some research, the inspector stated he would return to retrieve the landing gear switch for further examination. In spite of instructions not to touch the airplane without FAA supervision, the owner/operator removed the switch from the airplane while the FAA inspector was absent.

The switch was forwarded to the NTSB Materials laboratory, Washington, DC, for further examination.

TESTS AND RESEARCH

The landing gear switch provided by the pilot owner was examined at the NTSB Materials Laboratory on September 10, 2010. Examination of the detent mechanism of the switch revealed that it was severely worn, and that the wear and tool marks were consistent with the switch gripped by a tool, and moved over the detent, rather than lifted as designed. Further, the tool marks were evident in areas that would normally be covered by the landing gear switch handle when installed, and were consistent with tool slippage during movement of the switch.

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