Saturday, December 07, 2019

Landing Gear Collapse: Piper PA-44-180 Seminole, N3020M; accident occurred June 08, 2017 at Montgomery County Airpark (KGAI), Gaithersburg, Maryland

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

Additional Participating Entity:  

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Baltimore, Maryland

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Accident Number: ERA17LA204
Date & Time: 06/08/2017, 2110 EDT
Registration: N3020M
Aircraft: PIPER PA 44-180
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear collapse
Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional 

On June 8, 2017, about 2110 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-44-180 airplane, N3020M, was substantially damaged during landing rollout at Montgomery County Airpark (GAI), Gaithersburg, Maryland. The flight instructor and two student pilots were not injured. The instructional flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

According to the flight instructor, he was returning to home base after a training flight that consisted of basic maneuvers, as well as two takeoffs and landings to a full stop. During the final approach the flight instructor configured the airplane for landing and briefed the student pilot. The touchdown was uneventful and during the landing roll the airplane began veering to the right of centerline. The airplane came to a full stop and the instructor performed an engine shutdown before exiting the airplane. On inspection of the airplane the flight instructor noted that the right main landing gear was collapsed and bent backwards towards the aft of the airplane.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the aft right wing spar web was damaged during the landing sequence. Further examination of the landing gear revealed that the right aft main landing gear trunnion bracket failed. A visual examination of the fracture surfaces by the NTSB Materials laboratory revealed that there were no signs of fatigued failure within the trunnion, and the bracket failed during an overstress event. A review of the logbooks did not reveal any recent maintenance to the landing gear assembly. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 34, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/16/2014
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/03/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1281 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1281 hours (Total, this make and model), 1227 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 282 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 110 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 37, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s):
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s):
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/15/2016
Occupational Pilot:No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  600 hours (Total, all aircraft), 490 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 120 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 94 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N3020M
Model/Series: PA 44-180 180
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1979
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 44-7995220
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/16/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3801 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 668 Hours
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 9467 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: LO-360-E1A6D
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot School (141) 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: IAD, 313 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2152 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 8000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Unknown / 10000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 310°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: WESTMINSTER, MD (DMW)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 2040 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 538 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 14
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4202 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 3 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 4 None
Latitude, Longitude: 39.168333, -77.166111 (est)

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