CEN11LA390
CEN11LA390

On May 14, 2011, at 1430 central daylight time, a Piper model PA-28R-201 airplane, N204ND, was substantially damaged during a hard landing at Grand Forks International Airport (KGFK), Grand Forks, North Dakota. The flight instructor and student were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the University of North Dakota, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which was operated without a flight plan. The local instructional flight originated from KGFK at 1300.

The flight instructor reported that his student was practicing a simulated forced landing to runway 35L when the accident occurred. The student, who was obtaining instruction toward a flight instructor certificate, was flying from the right seat. The flight instructor stated that after a "firm" touchdown the airplane began to veer to the right. He noted that the right wing was lower than the left wing and his initial thought was that the right tire was flat. After coming to a stop, the airplane would not move forward without an excessive application of engine power. The engine was shut down and the flight crew notified the control tower that they required a tow to the ramp. After exiting the airplane the flight instructor noticed that the right main landing gear had collapsed rearward during the landing.

A postaccident inspection of the airplane revealed substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage. The right main landing gear strut assembly was observed to be fully extended at the accident site; however, when examined by the operator the strut assembly did not exhibit any material failure, corrosion, or binding. Interviews of recent flight crews did not reveal any hard landings that could have damaged the right main landing gear before the accident flight.

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