This July 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: Cessna 210. Injuries: None. Location: Santa Teresa, N.M. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land at an uncontrolled airport. When the airplane was on downwind, he moved the handle to lower the landing gear and heard the gear cycle down. However, after the accident, the pilot told investigators that he couldn’t remember if he saw the green lights indicating that the landing gear was down and locked.
While in the landing flare the pilot heard someone call “gear, gear” on the radio, but it was too late for him to go around. Apparently the gear was at least partially down because, as the airplane touched down, the left main gear collapsed and the airplane slid off the side of the runway, substantially damaging the horizontal stabilizer and elevator.
In the months after the accident, and following the repairs to the airplane, the pilot had four additional landing gear malfunctions. He reported that he had to manually extend the gear during each instance. After the fourth occurrence, the nose gear up-lock actuator and the landing gear accumulator were removed and resealed. The seal in the landing gear accumulator was found to leak. The accumulator requires gaseous nitrogen or dry air. The seals from the accumulator were not retained by maintenance personnel and were not available for examination by investigators. The reason for the failure of the seals was not determined.
Probable cause: The failure of the landing gear accumulator seal for undetermined reasons. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to confirm the status of the landing gear.
For more information: NTSB.gov NTSB Identification: CEN09LA417