This August 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 Pacer. Injuries: None. Location: Tacoma, Wash. Aircraft damage: Minor.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land in a crosswind and was using a right wing low technique. Shortly after touchdown he heard the right gear leg pop and the strut collapsed. The gear support structure and associated gearbox were substantially damaged.
Post-accident examination of the strut attachment fitting by a NTSB metallurgist revealed that the fracture faces displayed features and deformations consistent with over-stress separations. The metallurgist reported that no indications of pre-existing cracking or corrosion were detected. The pilot reported no mechanical anomalies with the airplane’s flight control systems prior to the accident.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper landing flare in crosswind conditions, resulting in a gear leg collapse.
For more information: NTSB.gov NTSB Identification: WPR09LA408