CEN11LA418
CEN11LA418

On June 25, 2011, at 1100 central daylight time, a Piper model PA-28R-201 airplane, N4106Q, was substantially damaged during a wheels-up landing on runway 27 at Rantoul National Aviation Center Airport (KTIP), Rantoul, Illinois. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the private pilot 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 personal flight had departed from KTIP at 1030.

The pilot reported that the landing gear did not fully retract after takeoff. He elected to return to the departure airport after several unsuccessful attempts to retract the landing gear. The pilot did not use the emergency extension system after noticing that the green landing gear position lights were not illuminated. The airplane skidded on the lower fuselage for approximately 100 yards before the left wing collided with a runway light. The left wing and lower fuselage were substantially damaged during the wheels-up landing.

A postaccident inspection revealed that the main landing gear were extended approximately 1-foot below their respective wheel wells. The nose landing gear was fully retracted into its respective wheel well and its gear doors were closed. The airplane was placed onto jack stands for an operational test of the landing gear extension/retraction system. The landing gear did not extend when the landing gear selector handle was placed in the down position with electrical power turned on. Further examination determined that the electric motor for the landing gear power pack was not operational. A teardown inspection of the electric motor revealed that the brushes were worn past serviceable limits.

No anomalies were noted during a postaccident operational test of the emergency landing gear extension system. All three landing gear fully extended when hydraulic pressure was released using the emergency extension lever. The corresponding green position lights illuminated after the landing gear was extended.

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