Sunday, July 9, 2017

Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain, N717SC, registered to Pinot Leasing LLC and operated by Solutions Air Charter: Accident occurred February 16, 2015 at Chicago Midway International Airport (KMDW), Illinois



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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  DuPage, Illinois

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


Registered Owner: Pinot Leasing LLC

Operator: Solutions Air Charter

http://registry.faa.gov/N727SC




NTSB Identification: CEN15LA147
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, February 16, 2015 in Chicago, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/11/2015
Aircraft: PIPER PA 31-350, registration: N727SC
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 pilot reported that he executed a normal approach for landing. During the approach, the pilot lowered the landing gear and verified the extended position by checking the landing gear position indicators in the cockpit. Upon touchdown on the runway, the nose landing gear collapsed, and then the right main landing gear collapsed. The airplane then exited the runway surface and came to rest upright. The right wing sustained substantial damage. A postaccident examination of the landing gear system revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The collapse of the nose and right main landing gears during landing for reasons that could not be determined because examination of the landing gear system revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

On February 16, 2015, at 1445 central standard time, a Piper PA-31-350 airplane, N727SC, sustained substantial damage following a collapse of the nose and right main landing gear during landing at Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW), Chicago, Illinois. The airline transport pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane was registered to Pinot Leasing, LLC, Zionsville, Indiana, and operated by Solutions Air Charter, Greenfield, Indiana. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 positioning flight. The airplane departed the Indianapolis Regional Airport (MQJ), Indianapolis, Indiana, at 1445 eastern standard time, and was destined for MDW.

The pilot reported that he executed a normal approach for landing to runway 4R at MDW. During the approach, the pilot lowered the landing gear and verified the extended position with the landing gear position indicators in the cockpit. Upon touchdown on the runway, the nose landing gear collapsed, followed by a collapse of the right main landing gear. The airplane exited the runway surface and came to rest upright. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who examined the airplane, the right wing sustained substantial damage to the forward and aft spars.

On March 2, 2015, the airplane was examined by a National Transportation Safety Board investigator, a FAA inspector, and representatives from the operator. At the time of the examination, the airplane was located on an outside ramp surface with its landing gear extended and secured with straps and harness equipment. The airplane is equipped with a hydraulically actuated, retractable tricycle landing gear, and the landing gear system was visually examined. The airplane's hydraulic reservoir, located in the forward baggage compartment, did not exhibit fluid in its sight glass. The sight glass was removed and fluid was observed on a removed strip that was lowered into the sight glass opening. No evidence was found that the hydraulic system was compromised during the accident.

During the examination, the airplane power was switched on, the landing gear handle was lowered, and landing gear emergency extension was performed. During the landing gear emergency extension, the landing gear locked into the extended position and the right main inner landing gear door moved to the up position. The left main landing gear door actuator was separated from its door. Due to the unavailability of equipment to properly support the airplane, a test of landing gear retraction and extension operations was not performed. The examination of the landing gear system revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on October 1, 2014.

According to the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM), the hydraulic system fluid level of the reservoir should be checked every 50 hours by placing the airplane in a level position and viewing the fluid level through the sight glass located in the forward surface of the reservoir dome. If fluid is not visible, filtered hydraulic fluid (MIL-H-5606) should be added. The AFM preflight inspection checks do not include verifying the hydraulic fluid level in the sight gauge.

According to a FAA inspector who spoke with a Piper technical service representative, the amount of hydraulic fluid found in the accident airplane at the time of the examination would not impact the operation of the landing gear system.

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