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On January 2, 2012, approximately 1500 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-34-200T, N8282P, was substantially damaged during landing at a private airport near Shelter Island, New York. The certificated airline transport pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which originated from Farmingdale Airport (FRG), Farmingdale, New York. The flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
The pilot stated that he departed FRG and completed the flight to Shelter Island at an altitude of 1,400 feet. He reported moderate turbulence during the flight, and stated that a nearby airport reported surface winds from 280 degrees at 19 knots. The pilot entered the airport traffic pattern for runway 22, a 1,800-ft-long by 100-ft-wide turf runway, and stated that he crossed over trees at the runway threshold at an indicated airspeed of 87 kts. He stated that after crossing the trees, the airplane experienced a downdraft and decay in airspeed. The airplane touched down "hard" and bounced, and the right main landing gear separated from the airplane. The airplane came to rest off the right side, and approximately one-third down runway 22.
Postaccident examination by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors revealed that the right main landing gear fractured at the axle hub, and that the right main wing spar sustained substantial damage.
The pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and sea, airplane multiengine land, and rotorcraft-helicopter, in addition to a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, airplane multiengine land, and instrument airplane. The pilot reported 18,548 total hours of flight experience, of which 2,500 hours was in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent flight review was conducted on September 27, 2011 in the accident airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued in December, 2011.
The airplane's most recent 100-hour inspection was completed on August 19, 2011 at a total time of 3,270.07 flight hours. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 3,287 total flight hours. The airplane service manual mandated specific 100-hour-interval inspections if the airplane was operated from "soft or unusual terrain." The landing gear were to be inspected for cracks, attachment, damage, and cleanliness, and the wheels inspected for cracks, damage, and chipped rims; as well as damage, corrosion, and lubrication of the bearings.
The 1453 weather observation at Francis S. Gabreski Airport (FOK), located approximately 20 nautical miles southwest of the accident site, reported winds from 290 degrees at 15 knots with gusts to 21 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, few clouds at 5,500 feet, temperature 4 degrees C, dew point -9 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 29.71 inches of mercury.
Review of the airplane information manual revealed that, given the atmospheric and wind conditions about the time of the accident, the landing distance required to clear a 50-foot obstacle would have been approximately 1,800 feet.
The right main landing gear was sent to a private facility, where the components were examined macro-and microscopically. The report stated that the gear retraction arm fractured at its bolt connection, which allowed the oleo strut to rotate, where it sheared at the wheel axle assembly. Analysis of the fracture surfaces did not reveal evidence of any preexisting fatigue cracks.