Aircraft: Piper Seneca. Injuries: None. Location: Shelter Island, N.Y. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: While attempting to land, the airplane crossed over trees at the runway threshold, then experienced a downdraft and decay in airspeed. It touched down hard and bounced. The right main landing gear broke off the airplane.
The post-accident examination of the landing gear revealed that the retraction arm fractured at its bolt connection, which allowed the oleo strut to rotate, where it sheared at the wheel axle assembly.
None of the fracture surfaces exhibited evidence of any preexisting cracks or signatures of fatigue.
Probable cause: A hard landing, which resulted in a failure of the right main and collapse of the left main landing gear.
NTSB Identification: ERA12LA132
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.