Monday, May 27, 2019

Piper PA-34-200, N56213: Accident occurred June 14, 2018 at Umatilla Municipal Airport (X23), Lake 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: Umatilla, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA178
Date & Time: 06/14/2018, 0950 EDT
Registration: N56213
Aircraft: PIPER PA 34-200
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On June 14, 2018, about 0950 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-34-200, N56213, was substantially damaged during a runway excursion while landing at Umatilla Municipal Airport (X23), Umatilla, Florida. The flight instructor was not injured while the pilot undergoing instruction (PUI) sustained a minor injury. The airplane was owned by Elite Florida AC LLC, and operated by Spaceport Aviation under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the instructional flight, which originated from Space Coast Regional Airport (TIX), Titusville, Florida, about 0845, and was destined for X23.

The PUI and/or the flight instructor stated that the flight proceeded to X23 where the downwind leg of the airport traffic pattern was extended, and the required before landing checks were performed. The PUI stated that he extended the landing gear, and the flight instructor confirmed there were 3 green lights displayed indicating all landing gears were down and locked. After touchdown on runway 01 at 80 miles-per-hour, the airplane suddenly began an uncommanded and violent swerve to the right, which the PUI could not correct with full left brake, rudder, and aileron inputs. The airplane departed the runway and impacted a drainage ditch. The PUI stated that while assessing the airplane with the mechanic from X23, they noticed the securing hardware for the upper and lower torque links of the right main landing gear was not in place.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector who responded to the accident site, a search was made for the missing right main landing gear hardware and it was not located. He inspected both disconnected torque links and did not see damage to either, nor did he see scoring damage to the inner diameter of the right main landing gear torque link brass sleeve that the attachment bolt passes through to secure the torque links together. The brass sleeve was measured and found to be round and not elongated. He also inspected the left main landing gear and found its torque link secured with the bolt, washer and castellated nut, but the cotter pin was missing.

A review of the airframe maintenance records revealed during the airplane's last annual inspection which was signed off as being completed on May 16, 2018, new hardware was installed in both main landing gear torque links.The mechanic who signed off the inspection stated that as part of the new hardware at the torque links, cotter pins were installed, but because of clearance issues during subsequent gear retraction testing, the hardware at both torque links was loosened to adjust each brake hose, then the hardware was tightened after adjustment, but the cotter pins at both gear torque links were not installed.

A review of the airplane's Pilot's Operating Handbook revealed that as part of the preflight inspection, it specified a visual inspection of the right main landing gear for leaks, the tires for inflation and wear, and the landing gear strut piston for proper extension. There was no direct mention to inspect the torque links for security.

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 54, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/30/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/01/2016
Flight Time:   6922 hours (Total, all aircraft), 84 hours (Total, this make and model), 5339 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 154 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 47 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5.3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 56, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Helicopter
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Helicopter
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/28/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:   9307 hours (Total, all aircraft), 20 hours (Total, this make and model), 8015 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N56213
Model/Series: PA 34-200 200
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 347350304
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/16/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4031.44 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: LIO-360-C1E6
Registered Owner: Elite Florida AC LLC
Rated Power: 200 hp
Operator: Spaceport Aviation
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLEE, 76 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0953 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 234°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts:  3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Wind Direction: 140°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: Unknown / Unknown
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 24°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Titusville, FL (TIX)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Umatilla, FL (X23)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0845 EDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Umatilla Municipal Airport (X23)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 107 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 01
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2500 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  28.924167, -81.651389 (est)

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