Landing gear collapse bends warbird

These October 2009 accident reports are provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, they are intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Curtiss Wright P-40E Warhawk. Injuries: None. Location: Lincoln, Neb. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The World War II-era tailwheel airplane was on approach to land. The touchdown was normal, but as the aircraft began to settle the right main landing gear began to collapse.

The airplane swerved uncontrollably. As the right main gear went off the runway, the airplane rocked forward onto its nose and the propeller and left wing tip hit the ground. The airplane came to rest partially off the runway in an upright and right wing low position.

An examination of the landing gear retraction system revealed that the landing gear handle detent was contaminated with paint. Subsequently, the landing gear handle did not stay in the detent, which resulted in the right landing gear downlock pin to partially retract followed by the partial retraction of the right main landing gear.

Probable cause: The right landing gear’s partial retraction during landing due to paint contamination of the landing gear handle detent.

For more information: NTSB Identification: CEN10CA030

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