Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Landing Gear Collapse: Piper PA-24-260, N9020P; accident occurred September 26, 2017 at Whiteman Airport (KWHP), Pacoima, California

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Location: Los Angeles, CA
Accident Number: WPR17LA217
Date & Time: 09/26/2017, 1638 PDT
Registration: N9020P
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-260
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear collapse
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 26, 2017, at 1638 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-24-260 airplane, N9020P, sustained substantial damage during landing at Whiteman Airport, Los Angeles, California. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed for the flight which departed from Camarillo, California about 1600.

The pilot reported that he lowered the landing gear while preparing to land on runway 12. He stated that after lowering the gear, he felt the airplane's drag increase but could not remember if he got a confirmation they were down and locked from the indicator light. He further stated the landing flare was normal and the airplane touched down on the main landing gear. Thereafter, the nose gear settled toward the runway and as the airplane continued on the landing roll, all three gear collapsed. The airplane incurred structural damage to the fuselage.

A Federal Aviation Administration certified mechanic examined the airplane after the accident. He stated that all three landing gear were in the gear wells. The main landing gear doors were not damaged and only the nose landing gear door had light scratches, which he thought was consistent with the landing gear being retracted at the time of impact. After recovering the airplane, the mechanic swung the landing gear and performed an examination. He found no mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have prevented normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 70, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/20/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: 664 hours (Total, all aircraft), 56 hours (Total, this make and model), 467 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N9020P
Model/Series: PA-24-260
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1966
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 4482
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/10/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3201 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2702 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TIO-540-O4A5
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 310 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: KWHP, 1003 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2338 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 148°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 110°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / Light
Altimeter Setting: 29.81 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: CAMARILLO, CA (CMA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Los Angeles, CA (WHP)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1600 PDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Whiteman Airport (WHP)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1003 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 12
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4120 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 34.259444, -118.413333 (est)

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