Sunday, April 07, 2019

Piper PA-30-160 Twin Comanche, operated by a private pilot as personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, N8674Y: Accident occurred June 17, 2018 at Vero Beach Regional Airport (KVRB), Indian River 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; Orlando, Florida

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Vero Beach, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA171
Date & Time: 06/17/2018, 1120 EDT
Registration: N8674Y
Aircraft: PIPER PA 30
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear collapse
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 17, 2018, about 1120 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-30, N8674Y, was substantially damaged while landing at Vero Beach Regional Airport (VRB), Vero Beach, Florida. The private pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated by the private pilot as personal flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed VRB about 1040.

The pilot reported that after a local flight, he returned to VRB and entered the right base leg of the airport traffic pattern for landing on runway 4. Due to traffic ahead of him, the pilot extended the landing gear early to decrease airspeed. He confirmed that the landing gear was extended via the green light indication in the cockpit and by utilizing the reflective mirror on the left engine nacelle to see the nosegear extended. The pilot again confirmed that the landing gear was extended on short final approach and the airplane touched down near the touchdown markings. After about 500 feet of landing roll, the nosegear collapsed and the airplane came to rest upright on the runway.

Initial examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that all three landing gear were collapsed. The inspector also noted substantial damage to the underside of the fuselage. The airplane was subsequently recovered to a hangar and placed on jacks. A mechanic examined the airplane for the purpose of providing a repair estimate to the insurance adjuster. During the examination, no anomalies or damage were found to the landing gear system, with the exception of bent main landing gear extension rods.

The recorded weather at VRB, at 1153, included wind from 030° at 7 knots, visibility 10 miles and clear sky.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/14/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/03/2016
Flight Time:  449 hours (Total, all aircraft), 109 hours (Total, this make and model), 347 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N8674Y
Model/Series: PA 30 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1969
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 30-1818
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/05/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2381 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 10 Hours
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 7865 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-320-B1A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: VRB, 24 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1153 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 30°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 23°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Vero Beach, FL (VRB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Vero Beach, FL (VRB)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1040 EDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Vero Beach Regional (VRB)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 24 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 4
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4974 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  27.655556, -80.418056 (est)


  1. If the plane is already sitting on the belly when you decide to "extend" the gear those extension rods will bend every time!

    It's only money and it's all in fun.

  2. I love these "classic" Piper twins, hopefully this won't be the end of her. Looks like she can one day fly again.

  3. ^^^^. It's repairable ... That's the money part mentioned above.

  4. On short final I always double check that the gear switch is down, I have three green gear lights and then check my gear mirrors except when there is traffic.

  5. Piper's Comanche 160 hp is truly a twin engine aircraft, it doesn't really fly on one engine, or at all if the out engine can not be feathered/stopped. Comanche 160 one engine landings rarely turn out well.