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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ERA14LA235
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 09, 2014 in Warrenton, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/03/2016
Aircraft: PACIFIC AEROSPACE CORP LTD 750XL, registration: N750SS
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the commercial pilot, following a skydiving operation, he returned to the airport. During the landing attempt and as the airplane was about 15 ft above ground level, the airplane banked left and the left main landing gear (MLG) then contacted the turf runway, so he immediately performed a go-around. Ground personnel subsequently contacted the pilot via radio to inform him that the left MLG had separated from the airplane. The pilot then performed an emergency landing, and, during the landing roll, the left wing contacted the runway, which resulted in substantial damage to the left wing spar.
Examination of the left MLG revealed that three of the lower clamp’s bolts were fractured, and an aft outboard bending moment was noted on the clamp piece. Fretting marks indicative of clamp movement were also noted. Although it could not be determined when the fretting occurred, it likely resulted from the initial hard landing. Further, several pieces of a polyurethane-based material were found within the left fuel tank. The fracture surfaces on these materials and on the left MLG bolts exhibited overstress damage consistent with a hard landing. Therefore, it is likely that the pilot improperly flared the airplane, which resulted in a hard landing and the subsequent separation of the left MLG.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot’s improper landing flare, which resulted in a hard landing and separation of the left main landing gear.