Sunday, May 21, 2017

Swearingen SA226-T(B), N127WD, Ponderosa Air LLC: Accident occurred June 20, 2016 at Republic Airport (KFRG), Farmingdale, Nassau County, New York



Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Farmingdale, New York


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

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

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


Ponderosa Air LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N127WD




NTSB Identification: GAA16CA527
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 20, 2016 in Farmingdale, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2017
Aircraft: SWEARINGEN SA226, registration: N127WD
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.

According to the pilot in command (PIC), he was conducting an instructional flight for his “new SIC (second in command),” who was seated in the left seat. He reported that they had flown two previous legs in the retractable landing gear-equipped airplane. He recalled that, during the approach, they discussed the events of their previous flights and had complied with the airport control tower’s request to “keep our speed up.” During the approach, he called for full flaps and retarded the throttle to flight idle. The PIC asserted that there was no indication that the landing gear was not extended because he did not hear a landing gear warning horn; however, he was wearing a noise-cancelling headset. He added that the landing gear position lights were not visible because the SIC’s knee obstructed his view of the lights. He recalled that, following the flare, he heard the propellers hit the runway and that he made the decision not to go around because of unknown damage sustained to the propellers. The airplane touched down and slid to a stop on the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage bulkheads, longerons, and stringers.

The SIC reported that the flight was a training flight in visual flight rules conditions. He noted that the airspace was busy and that, during the approach, he applied full flaps, but they failed to extend the landing gear. He added that he did not hear the landing gear warning horn; however, he was wearing a noise-cancelling headset.
The Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Safety Inspector that examined the wreckage reported that, during recovery, the pilot extended the nose landing gear via the normal extension process. However, due to significant damage to the main landing gear (MLG) doors, the MLG was unable to be extended hydraulically or manually. He added that an operational check of the landing gear warning horn was not accomplished because the wreckage was unsafe to enter after it was removed from the runway. 
The landing gear warning horn was presented by an aural tone in the cockpit and was not configured to be heard through the pilots’ noise-cancelling headsets. 
When asked, the PIC and the SIC both stated that they could not remember who read the airplane flight manual Before Landing checklist. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot-in-command’s failure to extend the landing gear before landing and his failure to use the Before Landing checklist. Contributing to the accident was the pilots’ failure to maintain a sterile cockpit during landing.

According to the pilot in command (PIC), he was conducting an instructional flight for his "new SIC (second in command)," and seated in the left seat. He reported that they had flown two previous legs in the retractable landing gear-equipped airplane. During the approach, he recalled that they discussed the events of their previous flights and had complied with the airport control tower's request to "keep our speed up".  During the approach, he called for full flaps and retarded the throttle to flight idle. The PIC asserted that there was no indication that the landing gear was not extended, as he did not hear a landing gear warning horn; however, he was wearing a noise cancelling headset. He added that the landing gear position lights were not visible because the knee of SIC obstructed his view of the lights. He recalled that following the flare he heard the airplane propellers hit the runway, and he made the decision not to go-around because of the unknown damage sustained to the propellers.

The airplane touched down, and slid to a stop on the runway. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage bulkheads, longerons and stringers.


The SIC reported that the flight was a training flight in VFR conditions. He noted that the airspace was busy, and during the approach he applied full flaps, but they failed to extend the landing gear. He added that he did not hear the landing gear warning horn; however, he was wearing a noise cancelling headset.

The Federal Aviation Administration, Aviation Safety Inspector that examined the wreckage reported that during recovery the pilot extended the nose landing gear via the normal extension process. However, due to significant damage to the main gear doors, the main landing gear was unable to be extended hydraulically or manually. He added that an operational check of the landing gear warning horn, was not accomplished because the wreckage was unsafe to enter after it was removed from the runway. 

Both pilots were wearing noise canceling headsets, and the landing gear warning horn is presented by an aural tone in the cockpit, and is not configured to be heard through the crew's headsets. 

When asked, the PIC and the SIC both stated that they could not remember who read the airplane flight manual (AFM) before landing checklist.

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