This April 2008 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: Cessna 182. Injuries: None. Location: Romeo, Mich. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The airplane’s main landing gear struts were replaced with repaired struts during a maintenance inspection. The FAA Form 337 associated with the repair states that the landing gear was checked for correct contour configuration and strength, and had undergone a magnetic particle inspection, but did not cite the approved data used for the repair. About 340 hours after the repair, the left landing gear strut separated during a hard landing. The pilot aborted the landing, and flew to another airport where the airplane landed without the left main landing gear. The horizontal stabilizer was damaged during the initial landing attempt when the left landing gear separated, and struck the horizontal stabilizer.
Metallurgical examination of the landing gear showed an altered micro structural layer adjacent to the surface, indicative of excessive thermal input such as welding. The strut portion showed that most of the exterior surface contained an intact layer of white paint. In many locations throughout the strut, the paint appeared to have been applied to an irregular or pitted surface.
Probable cause: The misjudged landing flare by the pilot, and the inadequate landing gear inspection/repair procedure used by maintenance personnel, resulting in the failure of the main landing gear strut during landing.
For more information: NTSB.gov