Bad landing bends gear

This August 2009 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Piper Seneca. Injuries: None. Location: Lincoln Park, N.J. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot stated that because the runway was wet, he wanted to touch down as close to the approach end as possible. The airplane bounced on landing. The nose gear, then the main landing gear collapsed and the airplane slid to a stop.

An airport surveillance video camera captured the accident sequence. Review of the video indicated that the airplane first touched down on the runway just beyond the displaced threshold in a flat attitude. The airplane bounced and did a series of rapid, large-amplitude pitch oscillations, resulting in the collapse of the main gear.

Probable cause: The pilot’s improper flare, which resulted in a bounced landing, and the subsequent collapse of the landing gear.

For more information: NTSB Identification: ERA09CA437.

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