Saturday, July 29, 2017

Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain, N27405, Creative Marketing Associates Inc: Accident occurred December 12, 2015 at Clearwater Air Park (KCLW), Pinellas County, Florida

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Creative Marketing Associates Inc:

NTSB Identification: GAA16LA087
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 12, 2015 in Clearwater, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/26/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA 31, registration: N27405
Injuries: 3 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 commercial pilot reported that, on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, he applied flaps and pushed the landing gear lever "completely down" and then saw the landing gear extension indicator lights illuminate. On short final and as the airplane passed through 500 ft above ground level, he verified that the three green landing gear extension lights had illuminated and applied full flaps for landing. Subsequently, the airplane landed hard with the gear retracted and skidded to a stop on the runway. 

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that it sustained substantial damage to the fuselage keel beam, formers, and stringers. Postaccident examination of the landing gear system revealed no evidence of any faults, malfunctions, or anomalies with the system, including the landing gear extension indicator lights and warning horn. It is likely that the pilot failed to extend the landing gear, which resulted in the gear-up landing.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's failure to extend the landing gear before landing.

On December 12, 2016, about 1505 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-31-350 airplane, N27405, landed gear-up during the touchdown at Clearwater Air Park, Clearwater, Florida. The commercial pilot and two passengers were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Creative Marketing Associates Incorporated, Saint Petersburg, Florida, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 as a day, visual flight rules passenger flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated from the Peter O Knight Airport, Tampa, Florida, about 1455 EST.

The pilot reported that after a cross-country flight in a retractable, tricycle landing gear-equipped airplane, he entered the traffic pattern at the destination airport. He recalled that on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, he applied flaps, pushed the landing gear lever down and performed his GGUMPS checklist. He reported that, "I saw the landing gear down lights lighting up after I pushed the landing gear lever completely down." He reported that on short final, as the airplane passed through 500 feet above ground level, "I verified three green landing gear down indicator lights and applied full flaps for landing." He recalled that the airplane landed hard on the runway and skidded to a stop on the runway. 

The pilot held a Commercial Pilot Certificate, and has reported the accumulation of 4,664 total flight hours, of which 860 hours were accumulated in the accident airplane. He reported that he had accumulated 5 hours in the accident airplane the day before the accident. 

The accident airplane had flown 9.6 hours since a 100 hour inspection was completed two months prior to the accident.

A post-accident inspection of the airplane by FAA Airworthiness Inspectors noted substantial damage to the fuselage keel beams, stringers and formers.

Photographs of the left and right landing gear, leg and wheel doors provided by the FAA Airworthiness Inspector, reveal that no damage existed to the either leg or wheel doors, consistent with the landing gear being retracted during landing. 

Following the accident, a landing gear extension and retraction check was completed under the supervision of an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector, and a separate inspection was conducted by an FAA Airworthiness Inspector; both inspections confirmed that there were no faults, malfunctions or anomalies with the landing gear extension or retraction system, including indicator lights and warning horn.

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