Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Piper PA-31-350, N4078J, Marianas Transportation Management Solutions Inc: Incident occurred August 30, 2017 at Saipan International Airport, Saipan Island, Mariana Islands

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Honolulu

Marianas Transportation Management Solutions Inc

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA570
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 30, 2017 in Saipan, MP
Aircraft: PIPER PA 31, registration: N4078J

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 landing gear failed to lock in the down position.  Airplane landed gear up.

Date: 30-AUG-17
Time: 08:08:00Z
Regis#: N4078J
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA-31-350
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: ON DEMAND
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 135
Aircraft Operator: ISMA - STAR MARIANAS AIR
Flight Number: UKN

A Star Marianas aircraft made a successful emergency landing on runway 24 at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport on Wednesday. The plane was cleared off the runway on Friday afternoon.

Commonwealth Ports Authority Executive Director Chris Tenorio said they are still working on a report on the cause of the emergency landing and will issue their findings as soon as the report is complete. CPA is glad that no one was hurt, he added.

The aircraft, a Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain, had five passengers and two crewmembers onboard when it made an emergency landing at the Saipan airport due to malfunctioning landing gear.

The aircraft departed from Rota airport on a scheduled flight at 4:45 p.m., Wednesday.

In a press statement, Star Marianas said there were no injuries to any of the people on board and that the passengers commended the pilot, Jun Shimada, for doing an exceptional job of landing the plane smoothly.

Shimada reported experiencing multiple bird strikes just after he departed Rota and was retracting the aircraft’s landing gear.

According to the pilot, the gear indicator light did not confirm that the gear had actually retracted and he also noted a decrease in his normal cruising airspeed.

As he was approaching Tinian, Shimada said the hydraulic pressure was insufficient when he attempted to extend the landing gear.

Shimada said he contacted the Star Marianas maintenance facility on Tinian and described his situation. The pilot then made several low passes that allowed the maintenance personnel to confirm that only the right gear was extended and that only partially.

After several attempts to lower the gear, he made the decision to continue the flight to Saipan and land on runway 24.

“The plane continued to fly for an additional 45 minutes to reduce its landing weight by using most of the fuel prior to landing. This also gave time for Saipan’s Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting personnel to prepare for the emergency.

“Upon landing, the aircraft’s right wheel was extended but the left main and nose wheels remained in the up position. This caused the aircraft’s left wing to contact the ground as the aircraft slowed to a stop, sliding onto the grass just past the Delta taxiway.”

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