Electrical failure leads to gear-up landing

Aircraft: Piper Arrow. Injuries: None. Location: Spring Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: Shortly after takeoff, the airplane experienced an electrical failure. The pilot elected to return to his departure airport for landing. He performed an emergency landing gear extension, however, with no electrical power remaining, he could not verify that the landing gear was down and locked via the gear position lights.

Seconds after the airplane touched down, the right landing gear collapsed. The airplane went off the right side of the runway, hitting a runway light.

An examination of the right landing gear revealed that the down-lock mechanism had not fully engaged, resulting in its collapse. The electrical failure was due to an inoperative alternator.

Probable cause: The failure of the right landing gear down-lock mechanism to fully engage. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inability to verify the landing gear extension due to the inoperative alternator.

NTSB Identification: CEN11CA103

This November 2010 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.

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