This February 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 Comanche. Injuries: None. Location: Mineral Wells, Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The airplane’s annual inspection was done 18 days before the flight. While departing the airport, the landing gear failed to fully retract. Several attempts were made by the pilot to fully lower the landing gear, including the use of the emergency landing gear system. The pilot elected to return to the airport and land in the grass parallel to the runway with the gear still partially deployed. During the landing the firewall was damaged. The post-incident inspection revealed that the cables that operate the landing gear were insufficiently lubricated.
Probable cause: The failure of the A&P to ensure proper lubrication of wire cables in the landing gear system during the annual inspection.
For more information: NTSB.gov