Sunday, January 31, 2021

Landing Gear Collapse: Cessna 310R, N87395; accident occurred June 15, 2020 at Bert Mooney Airport (KBTM), Butte, Montana

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Helena, Montana

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Angle of Attack AEROnautics LLC

Location: Butte, Montana
Accident Number: WPR20CA183
Date & Time: June 15, 2020, 12:30 Local
Registration: N87395
Aircraft: Cessna 310 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear collapse 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


While on final approach to land, about 150 ft above the ground, the pilot maneuvered and descended the airplane away from a bird. The pilot then realized that he was on a lower approach path to the runway after he observed an airport perimeter fence, but felt that he could still perform a safe landing and increased engine power to continue the approach. The airplane’s left main landing gear then struck a fence post and the pilot initiated a go-around to return to the departure airport. After unsuccessful attempts to verify the left main landing gear was extended and locked, he initiated a landing with full flaps and in a right-wing low attitude. As the airplane touched down, the left main landing gear collapsed, the airplane veered left, exited the runway, and the left wing struck a runway sign. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from a fence post during final approach which resulted in a damage to the left main landing gear, and its subsequent collapse during landing. 


Personnel issues Monitoring environment - Pilot
Aircraft Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Pole - Effect on operation
Aircraft Main landing gear - Damaged/degraded

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Landing gear collapse (Defining event)
Landing Runway excursion
Landing Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor 
Age: 62, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
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: June 9, 2020
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N87395
Model/Series: 310 R 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 310R0543
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle 
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5501 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
Engine Model/Series: IO 520 SERIES
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 285 Horsepower
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBTM,5533 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 11:53 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 347°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / -3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No
Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Twin Bridges, MT (7S1)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Unknown
Destination: Butte, MT (BTM)
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time: 09:00 Local
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Bert Mooney BTM 
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5550 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 33 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 9000 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 45.954723,-112.497497(est)

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