Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beechcraft 95-B55 Baron, N600VP, LS Express LLC: Accident occurred November 22, 2015 at Albany International Airport (KALB), Colonie, Albany County, New York

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albany, New York

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

LS Express LLC:

NTSB Identification: ERA16LA052
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 22, 2015 in Albany, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/20/2017
Aircraft: BEECH 95 B55, registration: N600VP
Injuries: 1 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 private pilot stated that, while on approach for landing, he lowered the landing gear and confirmed that all three landing gear indicator lights were illuminated. He noted that there was a "slight" crosswind, and, upon touchdown, he felt an "unusual" nose wheel shimmy before the nose landing gear trunnion fractured and the nose landing gear collapsed. Examination of the fracture surfaces revealed failure due to overstress with no preexisting conditions contributing to the failure. The airport’s automated weather observation recorded a 40° crosswind at 16 knots with gusts to 25 knots about the time of the accident. It is likely that, while landing in gusting wind conditions, the pilot allowed the airplane’s nose landing gear to contact the runway hard, which resulted in the overstress fracture of the trunnion and the resulting gear collapse.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain a proper flare while landing in gusting crosswind conditions, which resulted in a hard landing, overstress fracture of the nose landing gear trunnion, and a subsequent nose landing gear collapse.

On November 22, 2015, at 1317 eastern standard time, a Beech 95 B55, N600VP, was substantially damaged following a nose landing gear collapse during landing at Albany International Airport (ALB), Albany, New York. The private pilot/owner was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

In a telephone interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot stated that the preflight inspection and the flight to Albany revealed no mechanical or performance deficiencies with his airplane.

While on approach for landing on runway 28, the pilot lowered the landing gear and confirmed that all 3 green landing gear lights were illuminated. He noted there was a "slight" crosswind and upon touchdown, he felt an "unusual" nose wheel shimmy.

The pilot stated he applied back pressure on the yoke to relieve weight off the nose landing gear, and the airplane lifted off "slightly" from the runway. Upon the second touchdown, the nose wheel shimmy resumed, he again applied back pressure on the yoke, but when the nose gear eventually touched down, it collapsed. The nose enclosure and the propellers struck the runway, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land, multi-engine land and instrument airplane. His most recent second-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate was issued on May 19, 2014. The pilot reported 800 total hours of flight experience, of which 157 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

The airplane was manufactured in 1974, and its most recent annual inspection was completed on December 23, 2014, at 2,012 total aircraft hours.

At 1326, the weather recorded at ALB included winds from 320 degrees at 16 knots gusting to 25 knots.

Examination of photographs revealed that the nose landing gear trunion was fractured, and the trunion segments were examined in the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, DC. The fork portion had sustained gross plastic deformation and had fractured into two parts. The fracture surface was consistent with overstress. No evidence of any preexisting conditions that may have contributed to the failure were observed.

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