Landing gear collapses on touchdown

Aircraft: Luscombe 8A. Injuries: None. Location: Umatilla, Fla. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land in the tailwheel airplane. When it touched down it drifted to the left.

He applied right rudder to correct, but the airplane continued left and off the left side of the runway, into a ditch, and nosed over.

The post-accident examination revealed that the left main landing gear leg had collapsed and exhibited severe corrosion and evidence of a pre-existing crack.

Probable cause: A failure of the left main landing gear due to a preexisting crack and corrosion, which resulted in a loss of directional control during landing.

NTSB Identification: ERA12CA140

This January 2012 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.


  1. Tom W says

    Often the fabric is covering the gear legs, which appears likely in this case of N77859

    Rust damage inside the tube has weakened the landing gear.

    I’d love to send this one to Mike Busch to see what he would recommend in the way of NDT (Non destructive testing).

    A good friend had something similar happen, filed his NTSB report thinking he was at fault, but it was a landing gear failure in cross wind conditions. To his credit no injuries to him nor his passenger.

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