Monday, August 22, 2016

Piper PA-25-235, N7092Z: Incident occurred September 09, 2016 in Hollister, San Benito County, California

HOLLISTER SOARING CENTER: http://registry.faa.gov/N7092Z

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA San Jose FSDO-15

AIRCRAFT WITH TOW HOOK, ON APPROACH TO LAND, TOW HOOK STRUCK A VEHICLE THAT WAS ON THE ROAD, HOLLISTER, CALIFORNIA.  
Date: 09-SEP-16
Time: 20:00:00Z
Regis#: N7092Z
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA25
Event Type: Incident
Highest Injury: None
Damage: Unknown
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
City: HOLLISTER
State: California

Airports fight head winds across Northwest Indiana

Student pilot Sam Teal, left, 15, of Chesterton, gets weather report training from flight instructor Ed Vargas, of Porter, at Porter County Regional Airport.



Airports across the Region are battling a decades-long downturn in general aviation, with each striving to secure and grow on-airfield businesses to keep them flying high.

At Michigan City Municipal, skydiving and tourism help fill that bill. Griffith-Merrillville Airport relied on businesses like training Chinese pilots and aerial advertising to help pull it through the recession. Porter County Regional continues to put its faith in a comprehensive plan that makes the airport a linchpin for serving existing employers and attracting new ones to the community.


“Since the recession started, there has been a general downshift in pretty much everything in aviation, but we are starting to see an upturn in it,” said Craig Anderson, general manager at Griffith-Merrillville Airport.




Students and staff juggle airplanes in the Eagle Aircraft hangar at Porter County Regional Airport.


Figures on landings and takeoffs collected by the Indiana Department of Transportation confirm the observations of local airport operators, with year-by-year figures for all six Northwest Indiana airports showing declines of varying magnitudes during the last decade.


Those declines for the 2006 to 2015 period range from a significant decline of 57.4 percent at LaPorte Municipal, to a barely perceptible decline of 2.4 percent at Griffith-Merrillville. Other Indiana airports, even the state’s busiest, have suffered similar declines.


Operators of each airport caution that the INDOT figures may not be wholly accurate. Some years were estimated. Much of the data is collected through equipment that may not always be accurate. Also, airports that have significant flight-school activity often show greater variation.



Flight instructor Ed Vargas, left, prepares to go on a refresher flight with student Nick Schrader at Porter County Regional Airport. 


But all of the operators contacted during the last month acknowledged they are fighting national trends, including a rapid decline in people acquiring and holding private pilot’s licenses.


The number of people holding private airplane pilot licenses had declined to 162,969 as of 2015, from 245,230 in 2002, a 33.5 percent decline over just 14 years, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s U.S. Civil Airmen Statistics. Those holding commercial airplane pilot licenses dropped 20 percent during that same time.


Airport operators see hope on the horizon, with a resurgence in companies’ use of private aircraft and the burgeoning use of drones by both companies and private individuals.




Nick Schrader, left, prepares for a refresher touch-and-go flight at Porter County Regional Airport with flight instructor Ed Vargas. 



Dawn of the drones


Federal Aviation Administration regulations require a remote pilot certificate if a drone is used for commercial purposes. One route to that certificate is to already possess or obtain a pilot’s license. That could grow business at flight schools and also provide a pool of pilots who may one day want to sit in the driver’s seat of an aircraft rather than just controlling one from the ground.


The potential for drone use, and for training pilots to fly them, could be particularly robust in an area crisscrossed by pipelines and high-voltage lines serving major industrial establishments such as Northwest Indiana, Anderson said. It appears that drones could be taking over for the manned aircraft that now sometimes monitor those facilities.


Even smaller airports like Michigan City Municipal-Phillips Field are catching the excitement, although they haven’t seen any direct benefit as of yet.


“A lot of companies are using them already,” said Michigan City Airport Manager Jessica Ward. “And there is a lot of interest from airports with the introduction of drones.”



Eagle Aircraft student advocate Holly Starkey, right, chats with Wes Kautzmann, left, and Nate Silveus, both of Kalamazoo, Michigan, at the Eagle hangar at Porter County Regional Airport.




Chicago powers NWI flights


For now, much of the business for Region airports is generated by their proximity to Chicago, and most are looking to increase that part of their business.


Proximity to Chicago is why so much aerial banner advertising is pulled by small planes out of Griffith-Merrillville. Small rural airports like Kentland Municipal entice planes down by offering lower gas prices than airports in the Chicago area. And most of the customers for Skydive Windy City Chicago at Michigan City come out of Chicago.


Ward said it may be hard to believe, but some small aircraft from Chicago land at Michigan City simply to deliver a posse of shoppers to Lighthouse Mall. The airport gives them and others spending a day in town stickers reading: “I came here because of Michigan City Airport.”





Taxpayers help keep ‘em flying


In fact, almost all airports locally — because all except Griffith-Merrillville are taxpayer-subisidized — engage in low-level public relations campaigns to convince the public of their worth. Michigan City Municipal receives about $200,000 per year from the city to supplement on-airfield income, Ward said.


Lansing Municipal receives between $275,000 and $300,000 per year in taxpayer money to pay off borrowings for capital projects, according to airport Manager John DeLaurentiis.


A study done a couple of years ago for the Illinois Department of Transportation pegged the total economic benefit of the Lansing Airport for the community at $20.6 million per year, when all impacts such as wages, off-airport spending by fliers and other expenditures are added up.


“There is a secondary financial benefit to communities in having an airport, but it’s hard for people to understand that,” DeLaurentiis said.


Porter County Regional Airport generates about 60 percent of its income from fuel sales, leases and other on-airport activities, said airport Director Kyle Kuebler. But about 40 percent, or $537,000 in the most recent year, is raised from a tax levy.





County leaders support the subsidy because they think the economic return to the county is well worth it, Kuebler said. The Porter County airport has about a $17.3 million total economic impact on the community, according to a 2012 study commissioned by the Aviation Association of Indiana.


The county and city of Valparaiso are centering much of their economic development activity on industrial and business parks surrounding the airport.


“Our goal is to always be the aviation asset for our community’s needs,” Kuebler said. “And we want to be one of those check-marks for a company when they want to come into our community and have aviation needs.”





Gary/Chicago International Airport has suffered the same downturn in landings and takeoffs as other Region airports for much of the last decade. But last year, total aircraft operations rose 14.5 percent as compared to 2014. And so far this year, aircraft operations have increased 12.3 percent as compared to last year.


The increase in flight activity is a hopeful sign for an airport that just last year completed a $174 million project that lengthened its runway to 8,900 feet.





The Gary airport places itself firmly in the greater Chicago market. Executive Director Daniel Vicari said Gary can appeal to cargo and commercial users as well as general aviation by offering “the lowest fees and fuel costs in the region, close proximity to downtown Chicago and the entire metropolitan area, and an expanded runway that can service planes flying to and from destinations further away.”


The Gary airport is the only one that aspires to host regularly scheduled airline service and currently handles large jets that cannot be handled on a regular basis by any other airport in the Region.


Source: http://www.nwitimes.com

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Fokker DR 1, N500PY: Accident occurred September 04, 2016 in Plain City, Ohio

http://registry.faa.gov/N500PY 

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report   -   National Transportation Safety Board:    http://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA353
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 04, 2016 in Plain City, OH
Aircraft: STANTON DR-1, registration: N500PY
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 4, 2016, about 1840 eastern daylight time, a Stanton DR-1, amateur built Fokker Triplane replica single-engine airplane, N500PY, had a complete loss of engine power during initial climb and was substantially damaged during an off-airport forced landing near a rural residence in Plain City, Ohio. The pilot sustained serious injuries. No persons on the ground were injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had not been filed.

The pilot had been building the airplane for several years and had for several months been doing taxi tests in preparation for a first flight. He told witnesses that the airplane inadvertently became airborne during his last high-speed taxi test. The airplane was in level flight about 200 feet above ground level and was about one-half mile from the departure airport when several witnesses heard the engine "sputter" and suddenly stop. After a few seconds the airplane abruptly "nose-dived" straight down into the ground, then impacted a backyard playground set and hickory trees, coming to rest upright about five feet from the initial impact crater. There was a slight postimpact fuel leak, but no postimpact fire.

The witnesses called 9-1-1 emergency and immediately went to render aid to the injured pilot until the emergency responders arrived and removed him from the wreckage.

The closest official weather reporting station was at KOSU, Columbus, Ohio; located 10 miles southeast from the accident location, At 1853 the Automated Surface Observation System at KOSU, reported wind from 110 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 miles, sky clear of clouds, temperature 27 degrees Celsius (C), dew point 13 degrees C, with an altimeter setting of 30.19 inches of mercury. Astronomical data from the United States Naval Observatory indicated that sunset occurred at 1959.


UNION COUNTY, Ohio -  A man is being treated for injuries after a small plane crash in Union County, just north of Plain City.

The crash happened on private property just before 6:45 p.m. on Sunday in the 12000 block of Taylor Road in Jerome Township.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said 53-year-old Todd A. Stanton, of Plain City, crashed shortly after taking off in a Fokker DR 1 single engine plane.

Stanton was was removed from the small, single-seat plane by medics and taken to Riverside Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The cause of the crash is under investigation but Ohio State Highway Patrol said alcohol is not suspected of being a factor in the crash.

UNION COUNTY, Ohio -   One person is being treated for injuries after a small plane crash in Union County, just north of Plain City.

The crash happened on private property just before 6:45 p.m. on Sunday in the 12000 block of Taylor Road.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said one person was removed from the small, single-seat plane by medics and taken to Riverside Hospital.

The person's condition was not available.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Retired fighter pilot is reunited with old war plane

Retired Air Force fighter pilot Col. Fred Claussen on Sunday, August 21, 2016, was reunited with the plane he flew in combat 46 years ago in Vietnam at the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale. 



Retired Air Force Col. Fred Claussen wore a wide smile Sunday at the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale as — for the first time in 46 years — he climbed into the cockpit of the F-105 Thunderchief that he had flown during the Vietnam War.

His thrill at the reunion persisted, even as he relayed stories of his most terrifying days of flying amid unrelenting gunfire, and the sobering hourlong solitude of return flights after bomb-dropping missions over Laos and the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Sunday, his joy at seeing the plane, named for his daughter, faltered only when he spoke of the day he had to part with it after flying more than 100 combat missions over about 10 months. The memory abruptly brought his hands to his face as he allowed himself a moment to weep.

“I looked back at the airplane and said, ‘Christie, you gave me one hell of a ride,’ ” he choked, wiping his eyes.

Claussen, 74, was the last fighter pilot ever to fly that Republic F-105D aircraft in combat, said museum officials, who arranged the reunion. In October 1970 he flew it back to the United States from Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base in central Thailand.

The Thunderbird was one of more than 830 of that model built by Republic Aircraft at the same hanger that is now the Airpower Museum, where the plane is on permanent loan from the U.S. Air Force Museum.

The Lutz, Florida, resident brought his family, including daughter, Chris Brandley, 49, of Keller, Texas — the namesake for the cherished aircraft — as well as his granddaughter Maddison Brandley, 17, and wife of 28 years, Sunny Claussen, 55, along for the reunion with a plane that he said was once an extension of his own body.

Claussen presented museum officials with the flight suit he wore in combat and discussed the horrors of war and what it had done to him.

“It got to the point where I couldn’t wait to go out and fly combat again,” he said. “If I went out on a mission and didn’t get shot at, I felt disappointed. That sounds kind of strange, but that’s just how it was. We knew we were the best fighter pilots in the world and we thought we were invincible. . . . You might say we were all insane.”

That invincibility coexisted, incongruently, with an awareness that they could die any day.

He explained that fighter pilots at Takhli had $50 set aside at their regular bar so their fellow pilots could drink on them the next day, should that be their turn to die.

Fred Claussen realized years later that he had post-traumatic stress disorder that he said he has since dealt with, though dreams of flying and emergency cockpit ejections still persist.

The likelihood of death was never more apparent to Claussen than on Sept. 23, 1970, when he saved the life of a fellow pilot after the man’s plane took a hit and it quickly became apparent that he wouldn’t make it to the nearest landing site.

Claussen watched from his cockpit as his friend’s burning plane lost pieces of molten metal, finally urging the man to, “eject, eject, eject!” He circled overhead, drawing closer and shooting off potential enemies as the other pilot drifted to the ground unconscious, dangling from a bullet hole-ridden parachute.

Rapidly losing fuel, he called in the location so a helicopter team could rescue the man. Claussen received his second Distinguished Flying Cross for saving the man’s life.

“Fighter pilots are a different breed,” said his wife, Sunny Claussen, who is an occupational therapist at James A. Haley Hospital in Tampa. “They have amazing self control. I had been married to this man for 25 years [at that point], and I didn’t realize he was going through PTSD. . . . He would dream every night. He’s flying every single night. And, one day I asked him, ‘Is your flying fun?’ and he said, ‘No, when I’m flying, 95 percent of the time it’s bad.’ ”

She said she realized she rarely sees fighter pilots in her own work at the VA. “It’s so exclusive,” she said. “No one knows what their experience was.”

Fred Claussen agreed, saying that fighter pilots are trained to be cool under pressure and keep emotions in check. Only other fighter pilots can truly understand the experience.

Once home in Florida and working then as a fleet manager, he struggled to cope without the adrenaline rush. His best friend from the Air Force committed suicide two weeks after returning from the war. The pain of PTSD was compounded by the treatment of military personnel returning from the Vietnam War. Claussen said his wing commander called the pilots aside during their welcome home party to warn about demonstrators at the gate.

“They called me a pig, a baby killer, threw eggs at my car as I left out the gate,” he said, his eyes filling with tears again. “I was just very disappointed in the American people, that they recognized us that way. . . . In my mind and my family’s mind, I was a hero. I did what I was asked to do. And that was enough for me.”

Story and video:   http://www.newsday.com

At 86, 'still pulling a few Gs': Oldest regular flyer at Harriman-and-West (KAQW) still up in the air

 
Pete Esposito, 86, chats with his pilot pals in the lounge of the T-hangar at Harriman-West Airport in North Adams. Esposito has been flying since he was 14, and was there when the airport opened in 1948.

 
Pete Esposito, 86, sits in the cockpit of his plane at Harriman-West Airport in North Adams. He still performs aerobatics in his 1946 Piper Cub.



NORTH ADAMS >> In 1944, Pete Esposito saw a Piper Cub single engine plane fly over his Williamstown neighborhood.

The 14-year-old jumped on his bike and tried to follow it. It took him all day, but he eventually wound up at Cole Field, a small neighborhood airfield where Mount Greylock High School was later built.

Esposito would sit there for hours watching the planes. At one point, he recalls, a pilot named George West asked if he wanted to go up.

Of course he did. And West taught him to fly.

"Soon as I did that, I was hooked," Esposito recalls.



Now 86, Esposito is the oldest regular flyer at Harriman-and-West Airport in North Adams.

He was there when the airport opened in 1948. From 1958 to 1987, he was a corporate pilot for Sprague Electric Co. He also became a performer of aerial acrobatics in air shows in 1978.

"I've flown in every state and even overseas a couple times," Esposito said.

The running joke around the pilots' lounge at the T-hangar where local flyers hang out has it that Esposito was on the beach in North Carolina in 1903 when the Wright brothers made their first flight.

"I been here forever," he says with a chuckle.

Of course, he wasn't born until 1930. But it seems he was born with wings.

He was a flight engineer with the U.S. Air Force on B-25s, B-26s and B-29s. Based in Harlingen, Texas, when he got out, he piloted crop-dusting planes for a few years before he went to American Flyers School in Fort Worth to get certified.

As soon as he got certified, he headed back home and started flying for Sprague Aviation out of Harriman-and-West.

Although the air show circuit dried up, Esposito still does his old stunts — snap roll loops, Cuban 8s, hammer-head turns and 8-sided loops — just for fun. Today, Esposito flies a 1946 Piper Cub, a trainer in which he can pull off such stunts.

"I still enjoy pulling a few Gs," he said.

After his hitch with Sprague ended, he started up Esposito Flying Service, where he provided charter service and flight lessons.

Today, he goes up "whenever I feel like it," he said.

So far, although his count isn't very precise these days, Esposito has flown "30,000 flight hours, give or take a few."

And he's trained nearly 100 other local pilots, some of whom still hang out in the pilots' lounge with Esposito and a dozen or so other regulars.

"I've done a lot of flying," Esposito said. "That was my life. It's still my life; Always will be."

Story and photo gallery:  http://www.berkshireeagle.com

Experts fear disaster amid leap in laser-pointer strikes around Southern California airports

Joe Finnell, president of the Southern California Pilots Association, holds a model of his Cessna 182. Finnell is concerned about the increased reports that laser pointers are being aimed into the cockpits of planes.


Orange County Sheriff Deputy Erik Baum with the aviation unit uses a high definition, infrared camera mounted on the outside of the copter, bottom left, with a hand control to track down violators. The camera’s detail and precision are remarkable even from more than a mile away. Lasers can cause migraines and serious injury to the eyes when pointed in someone’s direction.



Pilot Mike Jesch was in the final and most critical minutes of an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Tampa Bay, preparing to land, when the warning came over a cockpit computer: The control tower was reporting strikes from laser pointers.

A short time later, the cockpit lit up in a green glow. Had the laser beam even briefly found Jesch or his co-pilot, it could have temporarily blinded or disoriented them, putting everyone onboard at added risk. But the pilots had lowered their seats to protect their faces from a direct hit and the airliner touched down safely.

To many, handheld laser pointers are one more cool, techie gadget offering a bit of serendipitous entertainment. Jesch, speaking on his own behalf and not for American Airlines, said he suspects many laser users just want “a challenge, to hit a fast-moving target.”

“But they don’t understand the damage that can be done,” he said.

And the dangers for airliners, private planes and law-enforcement aircraft across Southern California have grown in recent years as costs of small laser devices have fallen and their availability and power has increased.

Federal Aviation Administration records show laser-pointer strikes more than doubled last year in Los Angeles and Santa Ana — home to the area’s two busiest international airports — with more than 240 and 65 reported incidents, respectively.

Around Long Beach Airport, incidents jumped from 20 in 2014 to 34 in 2015. FAA data shows the area had between 12 and 14 each year from 2010 through 2013.

Ontario, with Ontario International, logged close to 90 strikes in 2015, a nearly three-fold increase from the previous year.

The increases can be traced to a variety of factors, including more diligent reporting by pilots, and the pointers becoming cheaper and readily availability online, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor wrote in an email to this news organization.

The power of such lasers also has increased significantly over the past five years, “meaning they are capable of hitting planes at higher altitudes,” Gregor said.

Authorities from several agencies are attempting to reverse the upward trend with more prosecutions of laser-pointer suspects, lengthier prison sentences, high-tech equipment that tracks down suspects and limits on low-cost imports. 

One newer concern is that the wattage of some of the slender, lightweight devices is now strong enough to reach aircraft several thousand feet in the air.

Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon said any reported incidents involving LAX-related aircraft “would have occurred off-airport ... many of them miles away from the airport.”

As a result, the chief said in a statement, airport police coordinate with a range of agencies, including the FBI and local law enforcement, to investigate all reports of lasers pointed at aircraft, which is both a federal and state crime.

Federal penalties have been ratcheted up since the U.S. Justice Department’s first prosecution for a laser strike on an aircraft occurred in Orange County in 2008. Dana Christian Welch of Orange was convicted of beaming lasers at two airliners on final approach to John Wayne Airport.

Attorney Craig Wilke, who represented Welch, said there was no dispute that his client directed lasers at the planes. But Wilke argued at trial that Welch’s motive was a “prank done without awareness of consequence.” That helped secure a shorter 21/2-year prison sentence, which was less than prosecutors had offered, the attorney said. Welch, who was released from prison in 2013, couldn’t be reached for comment and John Wayne Airport referred inquiries to the FAA.

At that time of the Welch case, the prosecutors had to prove a defendant willfully interfered with the operation of an aircraft “with intent to endanger the safety of any person or with a reckless disregard for the safety of human life.”

That made such cases “tougher to prove,” said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller, of the Los Angeles field office.

Since 2012, federal defendants in laser-strike cases have faced up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. In addition, prosecutors have a lower burden of proof and need only to show that a defendant “knowingly” shined a laser pointer at an aircraft or flight path.

More convictions and, in some cases, far longer sentences have followed.

In Orange County, Sgt. William Fitzgerald oversees the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff Department’s aviation support unit, which operates from John Wayne Airport. The unit’s wide-ranging duties include tracking down laser-pointer suspects.

High-definition, long-range video cameras mounted in the front of two patrol helicopters are crucial to the effort.

At an office in the department’s hangar, Sheriff’s Deputy Erik Baum shared a video of an August 2012 laser-pointer attack on one of the agency’s helicopters. The video was captured by the helicopter’s camera.

Shot from 3,100 feet, the footage begins with a flashing green laser streaking into the sky from a residential neighborhood in Lake Forest. Maintaining a safe and tactical distance, an air crew officer directs the camera, manufactured by a military contractor, to the source of the beam and quickly zeroes in on a man in his backyard who appears to have a dark object in his hand.

Not long after, the camera records another glowing neon-green flash originating from the suspect’s hand and the suspect pacing around the backyard. Soon after, the air crew directs ground officers to the suspect’s home, ending in his arrest.

“We’d been hit 10 to 15 seconds already by the time the camera is on them,” Baum said.

The detailed footage from the $600,000 cameras, funded with U.S. Department Homeland Security grants, “really makes it easier for the district attorney or the jury,” Fitzgerald said. “It shows intent.”

So why hasn’t the government restricted or simply banned laser sales and purchases?

Lasers have legitimate uses as pointers in classrooms and for commercial light shows, among other things. In addition, federal regulators are limited in what they can do.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has limited the wattage of laser pointers sold in the U.S. to no more than 5 milliwatts and required warnings about radiation and other hazards. However, lasers that are readily available online from offshore sellers can have up to 3,000 milliwatts of power, said Patrick Murphy, executive director of the International Laser Display Association.

The FDA says it tries to stem the influx of “overpowered” laser pointers into the country by rejecting and returning — or destroying — shipments of such devices it intercepts.

Most of those shipments come from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, according to the FAA records. Importers caught violating regulations can face civil penalties of up to $375,000. FDA spokeswoman Angela Stark said the agency has met with Chinese government officials multiple times recently “to better communicate regulations and risks of injury to laser products to China laser product manufacturers.”

But Stark also acknowledged the FDA “does not have the authority to ban laser pointers or restrict their sale to certain individuals.”

Murphy, of the laser association, says laser manufacturers tend to be smaller companies. One of the better-known companies, Hong Kong-based Wicked Laser, which previously marketed high-powered portable laser pointers, said in an email to this news organization that it hasn’t sold such devices in the U.S. since 2014 and has shifted its business to laser home show projectors.

Joe Finnell, president of the Southern California Pilots Association and a hobbyist pilot, has a 100 milliwatt laser pointer he purchased online years ago. He stresses he never uses it outdoors, but agreed to show it to a reporter for educational purposes.

While flying at night, “if you look at a real bright light, it tends to bloom in your eye,” Finnell said.

A laser pointer can create “a powerful spotlight,” he added. “You lose perspective. ... That’s what makes it so dangerous in the cockpit.”

Dr. Nick Batra, a California ophthalmologist and president-elect of the California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, noted a federal study found a majority of laser pointers don’t meet safety recommendations.

He’s treated patients struck by laser pointers. One experienced irreversible retinal damage, affecting his peripheral vision, Batra said. Another patient went blind in one eye.

“A split second is enough” to cause serious eye damage, he said.

Laser pointers “should not be pointed at anyone,” Batra added,“let alone pilots.”

Source:   http://www.pasadenastarnews.com

Piper PA-28R-201 Cherokee Arrow III, N786BG, Bowling Green Flight Center LLC: Accident occurred July 18, 2017 at Wood County Airport (1G0), Bowling Green, Ohio and Accident occurred September 13, 2016

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

http://registry.faa.gov/N786BG

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA425
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 18, 2017 in Bowling Green, OH
Aircraft: PIPER PA28R, registration: N786BG
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot of the retractable gear airplane reported that, during a simulated engine out landing with a flight instructor, they forgot to extend the landing gear. Subsequently, the airplane landed with the gear retracted.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio

Aviation Accident Final Report -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary -  National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Bowling Green Flight Center LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N786BG

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA374 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 13, 2016 in Bowling Green, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/13/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-201, registration: N786BG
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The two commercial pilots, one of whom was a flight instructor, were planning to conduct touch-and-go landings; the flight instructor reported that he was providing “employee training” to the other pilot. After takeoff and upon returning to the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the pilot receiving training activated the landing gear switch to lower the landing gear; however, the landing gear control circuit breaker opened. When the circuit breaker was reset, it immediately reopened, which disabled the gear warning system and landing gear annunciator lights. The pilots made a low pass over the runway and maintenance personnel told them that the landing gear appeared to be down. The flight instructor then landed the airplane, and as she was turning it off the active runway, the right main landing gear collapsed. 

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that neither of the main landing gear were down and locked. Subsequently, the school’s director of maintenance entered the airplane and used the emergency gear extension, and the landing gear dropped into the down-and-locked position, and the landing gear annunciator lights illuminated. Although he did not report resetting the circuit breaker, he had to have performed that action for the annunciator lights to illuminate. He later cycled the landing gear numerous times, and it operated normally. The circuit breaker remained closed, and all landing gear indications were normal. 

During the postaccident examination, the left main gear down limit switch wire was found dislodged from the terminal. The wire did not appear to have been properly crimped because the crimp mark was not well defined. Based on maintenance records, a new down indicator switch had been spliced in place less than a month earlier. The electrical schematic showed the wire to be energized. 

Maintenance personnel reexamined the airplane to determine why the landing gear indication circuit breaker was tripping. According to their report to Federal Aviation Administration, the left main gear down limit switch wire was spliced using the wrong type and gauge of wire. The spliced wires were soldered using heat shrink to cover the splices, which did not cover the wires completely. The three spliced down limit switch wires were bundled together in the left gear well, which allowed them to short, causing the landing gear circuit breaker to trip.

The pilots did not complete the Emergency Landing Gear Extension checklist, which calls for the emergency gear extension lever (which releases pressure in the hydraulic system and allows the gear to free fall) to be pushed down. The pilots should have completed the Emergency Landing Gear Extension checklist in an attempt to ensure that the landing gear were in the down-and-locked position, which could have prevented the right main landing gear from collapsing during the turn off the active runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilots’ failure to complete the Emergency Landing Gear Extension checklist and maintenance personnel’s failure to correctly repair spliced wires on the left main landing gear down limit switch, which prevented the pilots from knowing whether the gear was down and locked.

**This report was modified on January 9, 2017. Please see the docket for this accident to view the original report.**

On September 13, 2016, about 0840 eastern daylight time (EDT), the right main landing gear on a Piper PA-28R-201, N786GB, collapsed as the airplane was taxiing from landing at the Wood County Airport (1G0), Bowling Green, Ohio. The instructor and student pilot were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Bowling Green State University Flight Center LLC (BGSU), Bowling Green, Ohio, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight had just originated from 1G0.

According to the chief pilot and flight instructor, the purpose of the flight was for "employee training." They had planned to remain in the traffic pattern and perform touch and go landings. After takeoff and upon turning onto the downwind leg for runway 28, the pilot activated the landing gear switch to lower the landing gear. The CONT (landing gear control) circuit breaker opened. When the circuit breaker was reset, it immediately opened again, which disabled the gear warning system and landing gear annunciator lights. Maintenance personnel were summoned. Several attempts were made to lower the landing gear. A low pass was made over the runway and the pilots were told that the landing gear appeared to be down. The instructor landed the airplane. As she was turning off the runway, the right main landing gear collapsed. Post-accident examination revealed the rear fuselage bulkhead was cracked.

When the airplane was placed on jacks for retrieval, it was observed that the left main landing gear was not locked. Further examination revealed neither of the main landing gears were down and locked. The school's director of maintenance (DOM) entered the aircraft and used the emergency gear extension. The landing gear dropped into the full down and locked position and the landing gear annunciator lights illuminated.

The airplane was then moved to a hangar for further examination. According to the DOM, the landing gear pump, hydraulic fluid, level, gear warning horns, and lights were checked. No anomalies were noted. With the airplane on jacks, the landing gear was cycled numerous times and operated normally. The circuit breaker remained closed and all landing gear indications were normal. The emergency landing gear extension was also used to verify proper operation and it, too, operated normally.

The flight instructor referenced "the previous grounding maintenance squawk on the aircraft and the current level '3' squawk seeking maintenance feedback on the landing gear." According to the DOM, BGSU utilizes a software product, called SkyManager, to track accounting, maintenance, and flight schedules, among other things. When a maintenance squawk is entered into SkyManager with the aircraft's N-number and a description of the problem, it is given a severity classification of "5" (grounding issue), "3" (non-grounding discrepancy), or "1" (information only).

Examination of the airframe logbook revealed the following six entries pertaining to recent landing gear maintenance:

January 15, 2016 - Replaced nose landing gear up lock switch and switch actuator.
February 5, 2016 - Replaced nose landing gear up lock switch.
March 15, 2016 - Adjusted left main landing gear down lock witch.
April 14, 2016 - Found loose wire on left main landing gear down lock switch. Jacked aircraft, repaired broken wire.
July 19, 2016 - Replaced main landing gear down lock switch and adjusted.
August 24, 2016 - Replaced MLG down indicator switch.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector oversaw the examination of the airplane and noted the following:

"Flight Discrepancy on 08/19/2016: "Gear position lights failed to operate properly." The actual logbook entry on 08/24/2016: 'Replaced MLG down indicator P/N 85315-002. Performed ground (retracted) and flight check (air).' The entry was signed off but did not indicate which gear switch was replaced, just part number. The was also no documentation of the flight in SkyManager.

"Flight Discrepancy on 09/02/2016: 'Landing gear light did not illuminate when gear was put down.'
In SkyManager, the DOM wrote: "Fixed broken wire." No entry was made in the logbook about this discrepancy.

"Flight Discrepancy on 09/12/2016: 'During approach back into Wood Co. my student went to drop. . .'
In SkyManager, the DOM wrote: 'Ground ops check satisfactory. Need feedback.'

"The accident occurred the following day."

The FAA inspector said he found a wire dislodged from the terminal. It did not appear to have been properly crimped because the crimp mark was not well defined. The wire was grounding (shorting) against the landing gear, causing the CNTRL LNDG GEAR circuit breaker to trip open. The DOM said he had pulled the wire out while he was troubleshooting after the accident. The inspector said it appeared the DOM had spliced a new limit switch about six inches from the switch. The wire bundle then passed into the wing. The electrical schematic shows the wire to be energized. The FAA inspector told the DOM that he should make the splice in the wing.

Maintenance personnel re-examined the airplane to determine why the landing gear indication circuit breaker was tripping. According to their report to the FAA, the left main gear down limit switch wire was spliced using the wrong type and gauge of wire. The spliced wires were soldered using heat shrink to cover the splices. The heat shrink did not cover the wires completely. The three wires spliced were bundled together in the left gear well, which allowed the down limit switch wires to short together, causing the landing gear circuit breaker to trip.

The FAA inspector also noted that the flight instructor-chief pilot did not use the emergency checklist completely. According to the checklist, the first step in an emergency gear extension is to cycle the gear. This could not be accomplished because the circuit breaker was open and would not close. The next step is to push down on the emergency gear extension lever (which releases pressure in the hydraulic system and allows the gear to free fall). This was not done. Lastly, the airplane should be yawed abruptly from side to side with the rudder in an attempt to shake the gear loose.

The inspector told the instructor that when advised that the landing gear "appears to be down," it may not be locked "over center." Additionally, the airplane should never be turned with a landing gear issue, but rather it should be kept straight on the runway and brought to a complete stop.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA374
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 13, 2016 in Bowling Green, OH
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-201, registration: N786BG
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 13, 2016, about 0840 eastern daylight time, the right main landing gear on a Piper PA-28R-201, N786GB, collapsed as the airplane was taxiing from landing at the Wood County Airport (1G0), Bowling Green, Ohio. The instructor and student pilot were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Bowling Green Flight Center, LLC, Bowling Green, Ohio, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from 1G0 approximately 0800.

Preliminary information indicates the pilots had been practicing touch-and-go landings in the airport traffic pattern. The landing gear circuit breaker opened and it was reset. When the landing gear was lowered, the landing gear circuit breaker opened again. The airplane made a low pass over the airport and the crew was advised that the landing gear appeared to be down and locked. The airplane landed and as it was taxiing to the ramp, the right main landing gear collapsed. Post-accident examination revealed the rear fuselage bulkhead was cracked. Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio

http://registry.faa.gov/N786BG

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA425
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 18, 2017 in Bowling Green, OH
Aircraft: PIPER PA28R, registration: N786BG

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft landed gear up.

Date: 18-JUL-17
Time: 13:20:00Z
Regis#: N786BG
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA28
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: UNKNOWN
Activity: INSTRUCTION
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
City: BOWLING GREEN
State: OHIO

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland, Ohio

Aviation Accident Final Report -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary -  National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Bowling Green Flight Center LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N786BG

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA374 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 13, 2016 in Bowling Green, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/13/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-201, registration: N786BG
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The two commercial pilots, one of whom was a flight instructor, were planning to conduct touch-and-go landings; the flight instructor reported that he was providing “employee training” to the other pilot. After takeoff and upon returning to the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the pilot receiving training activated the landing gear switch to lower the landing gear; however, the landing gear control circuit breaker opened. When the circuit breaker was reset, it immediately reopened, which disabled the gear warning system and landing gear annunciator lights. The pilots made a low pass over the runway and maintenance personnel told them that the landing gear appeared to be down. The flight instructor then landed the airplane, and as she was turning it off the active runway, the right main landing gear collapsed. 

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that neither of the main landing gear were down and locked. Subsequently, the school’s director of maintenance entered the airplane and used the emergency gear extension, and the landing gear dropped into the down-and-locked position, and the landing gear annunciator lights illuminated. Although he did not report resetting the circuit breaker, he had to have performed that action for the annunciator lights to illuminate. He later cycled the landing gear numerous times, and it operated normally. The circuit breaker remained closed, and all landing gear indications were normal. 

During the postaccident examination, the left main gear down limit switch wire was found dislodged from the terminal. The wire did not appear to have been properly crimped because the crimp mark was not well defined. Based on maintenance records, a new down indicator switch had been spliced in place less than a month earlier. The electrical schematic showed the wire to be energized. 

Maintenance personnel reexamined the airplane to determine why the landing gear indication circuit breaker was tripping. According to their report to Federal Aviation Administration, the left main gear down limit switch wire was spliced using the wrong type and gauge of wire. The spliced wires were soldered using heat shrink to cover the splices, which did not cover the wires completely. The three spliced down limit switch wires were bundled together in the left gear well, which allowed them to short, causing the landing gear circuit breaker to trip.

The pilots did not complete the Emergency Landing Gear Extension checklist, which calls for the emergency gear extension lever (which releases pressure in the hydraulic system and allows the gear to free fall) to be pushed down. The pilots should have completed the Emergency Landing Gear Extension checklist in an attempt to ensure that the landing gear were in the down-and-locked position, which could have prevented the right main landing gear from collapsing during the turn off the active runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilots’ failure to complete the Emergency Landing Gear Extension checklist and maintenance personnel’s failure to correctly repair spliced wires on the left main landing gear down limit switch, which prevented the pilots from knowing whether the gear was down and locked.

**This report was modified on January 9, 2017. Please see the docket for this accident to view the original report.**

On September 13, 2016, about 0840 eastern daylight time (EDT), the right main landing gear on a Piper PA-28R-201, N786GB, collapsed as the airplane was taxiing from landing at the Wood County Airport (1G0), Bowling Green, Ohio. The instructor and student pilot were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Bowling Green State University Flight Center LLC (BGSU), Bowling Green, Ohio, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight had just originated from 1G0.

According to the chief pilot and flight instructor, the purpose of the flight was for "employee training." They had planned to remain in the traffic pattern and perform touch and go landings. After takeoff and upon turning onto the downwind leg for runway 28, the pilot activated the landing gear switch to lower the landing gear. The CONT (landing gear control) circuit breaker opened. When the circuit breaker was reset, it immediately opened again, which disabled the gear warning system and landing gear annunciator lights. Maintenance personnel were summoned. Several attempts were made to lower the landing gear. A low pass was made over the runway and the pilots were told that the landing gear appeared to be down. The instructor landed the airplane. As she was turning off the runway, the right main landing gear collapsed. Post-accident examination revealed the rear fuselage bulkhead was cracked.

When the airplane was placed on jacks for retrieval, it was observed that the left main landing gear was not locked. Further examination revealed neither of the main landing gears were down and locked. The school's director of maintenance (DOM) entered the aircraft and used the emergency gear extension. The landing gear dropped into the full down and locked position and the landing gear annunciator lights illuminated.

The airplane was then moved to a hangar for further examination. According to the DOM, the landing gear pump, hydraulic fluid, level, gear warning horns, and lights were checked. No anomalies were noted. With the airplane on jacks, the landing gear was cycled numerous times and operated normally. The circuit breaker remained closed and all landing gear indications were normal. The emergency landing gear extension was also used to verify proper operation and it, too, operated normally.

The flight instructor referenced "the previous grounding maintenance squawk on the aircraft and the current level '3' squawk seeking maintenance feedback on the landing gear." According to the DOM, BGSU utilizes a software product, called SkyManager, to track accounting, maintenance, and flight schedules, among other things. When a maintenance squawk is entered into SkyManager with the aircraft's N-number and a description of the problem, it is given a severity classification of "5" (grounding issue), "3" (non-grounding discrepancy), or "1" (information only).

Examination of the airframe logbook revealed the following six entries pertaining to recent landing gear maintenance:

January 15, 2016 - Replaced nose landing gear up lock switch and switch actuator.
February 5, 2016 - Replaced nose landing gear up lock switch.
March 15, 2016 - Adjusted left main landing gear down lock witch.
April 14, 2016 - Found loose wire on left main landing gear down lock switch. Jacked aircraft, repaired broken wire.
July 19, 2016 - Replaced main landing gear down lock switch and adjusted.
August 24, 2016 - Replaced MLG down indicator switch.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector oversaw the examination of the airplane and noted the following:

"Flight Discrepancy on 08/19/2016: "Gear position lights failed to operate properly." The actual logbook entry on 08/24/2016: 'Replaced MLG down indicator P/N 85315-002. Performed ground (retracted) and flight check (air).' The entry was signed off but did not indicate which gear switch was replaced, just part number. The was also no documentation of the flight in SkyManager.

"Flight Discrepancy on 09/02/2016: 'Landing gear light did not illuminate when gear was put down.'
In SkyManager, the DOM wrote: "Fixed broken wire." No entry was made in the logbook about this discrepancy.

"Flight Discrepancy on 09/12/2016: 'During approach back into Wood Co. my student went to drop. . .'
In SkyManager, the DOM wrote: 'Ground ops check satisfactory. Need feedback.'

"The accident occurred the following day."

The FAA inspector said he found a wire dislodged from the terminal. It did not appear to have been properly crimped because the crimp mark was not well defined. The wire was grounding (shorting) against the landing gear, causing the CNTRL LNDG GEAR circuit breaker to trip open. The DOM said he had pulled the wire out while he was troubleshooting after the accident. The inspector said it appeared the DOM had spliced a new limit switch about six inches from the switch. The wire bundle then passed into the wing. The electrical schematic shows the wire to be energized. The FAA inspector told the DOM that he should make the splice in the wing.

Maintenance personnel re-examined the airplane to determine why the landing gear indication circuit breaker was tripping. According to their report to the FAA, the left main gear down limit switch wire was spliced using the wrong type and gauge of wire. The spliced wires were soldered using heat shrink to cover the splices. The heat shrink did not cover the wires completely. The three wires spliced were bundled together in the left gear well, which allowed the down limit switch wires to short together, causing the landing gear circuit breaker to trip.

The FAA inspector also noted that the flight instructor-chief pilot did not use the emergency checklist completely. According to the checklist, the first step in an emergency gear extension is to cycle the gear. This could not be accomplished because the circuit breaker was open and would not close. The next step is to push down on the emergency gear extension lever (which releases pressure in the hydraulic system and allows the gear to free fall). This was not done. Lastly, the airplane should be yawed abruptly from side to side with the rudder in an attempt to shake the gear loose.

The inspector told the instructor that when advised that the landing gear "appears to be down," it may not be locked "over center." Additionally, the airplane should never be turned with a landing gear issue, but rather it should be kept straight on the runway and brought to a complete stop.

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA374
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 13, 2016 in Bowling Green, OH
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-201, registration: N786BG
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 13, 2016, about 0840 eastern daylight time, the right main landing gear on a Piper PA-28R-201, N786GB, collapsed as the airplane was taxiing from landing at the Wood County Airport (1G0), Bowling Green, Ohio. The instructor and student pilot were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Bowling Green Flight Center, LLC, Bowling Green, Ohio, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from 1G0 approximately 0800.

Preliminary information indicates the pilots had been practicing touch-and-go landings in the airport traffic pattern. The landing gear circuit breaker opened and it was reset. When the landing gear was lowered, the landing gear circuit breaker opened again. The airplane made a low pass over the airport and the crew was advised that the landing gear appeared to be down and locked. The airplane landed and as it was taxiing to the ramp, the right main landing gear collapsed. Post-accident examination revealed the rear fuselage bulkhead was cracked. The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Cleveland FSDO-25

Aviation Accident Final Report -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items -  National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary -  National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

BOWLING GREEN FLIGHT CENTER LLC:   http://registry.faa.gov/N786BG

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA374 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 13, 2016 in Bowling Green, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/13/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-201, registration: N786BG
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The two commercial pilots, one of whom was a flight instructor, were planning to conduct touch-and-go landings; the flight instructor reported that he was providing “employee training” to the other pilot. After takeoff and upon returning to the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the pilot receiving training activated the landing gear switch to lower the landing gear; however, the landing gear control circuit breaker opened. When the circuit breaker was reset, it immediately reopened, which disabled the gear warning system and landing gear annunciator lights. The pilots made a low pass over the runway and maintenance personnel told them that the landing gear appeared to be down. The flight instructor then landed the airplane, and as she was turning it off the active runway, the right main landing gear collapsed. 

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that neither of the main landing gear were down and locked. Subsequently, the school’s director of maintenance entered the airplane and used the emergency gear extension, and the landing gear dropped into the down-and-locked position, and the landing gear annunciator lights illuminated. Although he did not report resetting the circuit breaker, he had to have performed that action for the annunciator lights to illuminate. He later cycled the landing gear numerous times, and it operated normally. The circuit breaker remained closed, and all landing gear indications were normal. 

During the postaccident examination, the left main gear down limit switch wire was found dislodged from the terminal. The wire did not appear to have been properly crimped because the crimp mark was not well defined. Based on maintenance records, a new down indicator switch had been spliced in place less than a month earlier. The electrical schematic showed the wire to be energized. 

Maintenance personnel reexamined the airplane to determine why the landing gear indication circuit breaker was tripping. According to their report to Federal Aviation Administration, the left main gear down limit switch wire was spliced using the wrong type and gauge of wire. The spliced wires were soldered using heat shrink to cover the splices, which did not cover the wires completely. The three spliced down limit switch wires were bundled together in the left gear well, which allowed them to short, causing the landing gear circuit breaker to trip.

The pilots did not complete the Emergency Landing Gear Extension checklist, which calls for the emergency gear extension lever (which releases pressure in the hydraulic system and allows the gear to free fall) to be pushed down. The pilots should have completed the Emergency Landing Gear Extension checklist in an attempt to ensure that the landing gear were in the down-and-locked position, which could have prevented the right main landing gear from collapsing during the turn off the active runway.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilots’ failure to complete the Emergency Landing Gear Extension checklist and maintenance personnel’s failure to correctly repair spliced wires on the left main landing gear down limit switch, which prevented the pilots from knowing whether the gear was down and locked.

**This report was modified on January 9, 2017. Please see the docket for this accident to view the original report.**

On September 13, 2016, about 0840 eastern daylight time (EDT), the right main landing gear on a Piper PA-28R-201, N786GB, collapsed as the airplane was taxiing from landing at the Wood County Airport (1G0), Bowling Green, Ohio. The instructor and student pilot were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Bowling Green State University Flight Center LLC (BGSU), Bowling Green, Ohio, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight had just originated from 1G0.

According to the chief pilot and flight instructor, the purpose of the flight was for "employee training." They had planned to remain in the traffic pattern and perform touch and go landings. After takeoff and upon turning onto the downwind leg for runway 28, the pilot activated the landing gear switch to lower the landing gear. The CONT (landing gear control) circuit breaker opened. When the circuit breaker was reset, it immediately opened again, which disabled the gear warning system and landing gear annunciator lights. Maintenance personnel were summoned. Several attempts were made to lower the landing gear. A low pass was made over the runway and the pilots were told that the landing gear appeared to be down. The instructor landed the airplane. As she was turning off the runway, the right main landing gear collapsed. Post-accident examination revealed the rear fuselage bulkhead was cracked.

When the airplane was placed on jacks for retrieval, it was observed that the left main landing gear was not locked. Further examination revealed neither of the main landing gears were down and locked. The school's director of maintenance (DOM) entered the aircraft and used the emergency gear extension. The landing gear dropped into the full down and locked position and the landing gear annunciator lights illuminated.

The airplane was then moved to a hangar for further examination. According to the DOM, the landing gear pump, hydraulic fluid, level, gear warning horns, and lights were checked. No anomalies were noted. With the airplane on jacks, the landing gear was cycled numerous times and operated normally. The circuit breaker remained closed and all landing gear indications were normal. The emergency landing gear extension was also used to verify proper operation and it, too, operated normally.

The flight instructor referenced "the previous grounding maintenance squawk on the aircraft and the current level '3' squawk seeking maintenance feedback on the landing gear." According to the DOM, BGSU utilizes a software product, called SkyManager, to track accounting, maintenance, and flight schedules, among other things. When a maintenance squawk is entered into SkyManager with the aircraft's N-number and a description of the problem, it is given a severity classification of "5" (grounding issue), "3" (non-grounding discrepancy), or "1" (information only).

Examination of the airframe logbook revealed the following six entries pertaining to recent landing gear maintenance:

January 15, 2016 - Replaced nose landing gear up lock switch and switch actuator.
February 5, 2016 - Replaced nose landing gear up lock switch.
March 15, 2016 - Adjusted left main landing gear down lock witch.
April 14, 2016 - Found loose wire on left main landing gear down lock switch. Jacked aircraft, repaired broken wire.
July 19, 2016 - Replaced main landing gear down lock switch and adjusted.
August 24, 2016 - Replaced MLG down indicator switch.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector oversaw the examination of the airplane and noted the following:

"Flight Discrepancy on 08/19/2016: "Gear position lights failed to operate properly." The actual logbook entry on 08/24/2016: 'Replaced MLG down indicator P/N 85315-002. Performed ground (retracted) and flight check (air).' The entry was signed off but did not indicate which gear switch was replaced, just part number. The was also no documentation of the flight in SkyManager.

"Flight Discrepancy on 09/02/2016: 'Landing gear light did not illuminate when gear was put down.'
In SkyManager, the DOM wrote: "Fixed broken wire." No entry was made in the logbook about this discrepancy.

"Flight Discrepancy on 09/12/2016: 'During approach back into Wood Co. my student went to drop. . .'
In SkyManager, the DOM wrote: 'Ground ops check satisfactory. Need feedback.'

"The accident occurred the following day."

The FAA inspector said he found a wire dislodged from the terminal. It did not appear to have been properly crimped because the crimp mark was not well defined. The wire was grounding (shorting) against the landing gear, causing the CNTRL LNDG GEAR circuit breaker to trip open. The DOM said he had pulled the wire out while he was troubleshooting after the accident. The inspector said it appeared the DOM had spliced a new limit switch about six inches from the switch. The wire bundle then passed into the wing. The electrical schematic shows the wire to be energized. The FAA inspector told the DOM that he should make the splice in the wing.

Maintenance personnel re-examined the airplane to determine why the landing gear indication circuit breaker was tripping. According to their report to the FAA, the left main gear down limit switch wire was spliced using the wrong type and gauge of wire. The spliced wires were soldered using heat shrink to cover the splices. The heat shrink did not cover the wires completely. The three wires spliced were bundled together in the left gear well, which allowed the down limit switch wires to short together, causing the landing gear circuit breaker to trip.

The FAA inspector also noted that the flight instructor-chief pilot did not use the emergency checklist completely. According to the checklist, the first step in an emergency gear extension is to cycle the gear. This could not be accomplished because the circuit breaker was open and would not close. The next step is to push down on the emergency gear extension lever (which releases pressure in the hydraulic system and allows the gear to free fall). This was not done. Lastly, the airplane should be yawed abruptly from side to side with the rudder in an attempt to shake the gear loose.

The inspector told the instructor that when advised that the landing gear "appears to be down," it may not be locked "over center." Additionally, the airplane should never be turned with a landing gear issue, but rather it should be kept straight on the runway and brought to a complete stop


NTSB Identification: CEN16LA374
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 13, 2016 in Bowling Green, OH
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-201, registration: N786BG
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 13, 2016, about 0840 eastern daylight time, the right main landing gear on a Piper PA-28R-201, N786GB, collapsed as the airplane was taxiing from landing at the Wood County Airport (1G0), Bowling Green, Ohio. The instructor and student pilot were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by Bowling Green Flight Center, LLC, Bowling Green, Ohio, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight originated from 1G0 approximately 0800.

Preliminary information indicates the pilots had been practicing touch-and-go landings in the airport traffic pattern. The landing gear circuit breaker opened and it was reset. When the landing gear was lowered, the landing gear circuit breaker opened again. The airplane made a low pass over the airport and the crew was advised that the landing gear appeared to be down and locked. The airplane landed and as it was taxiing to the ramp, the right main landing gear collapsed. Post-accident examination revealed the rear fuselage bulkhead was cracked.