Tuesday, March 01, 2022

System/Component Malfunction/Failure (Non-Power): Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche, N7943Y; accident occurred February 28, 2022 at Republic Airport (KFRG), Farmingdale, Nassau County, New York

























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; Farmingdale, New York

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Sherman Aviation LLC

Century Air 


Location: Farmingdale, New York
Accident Number: ERA22LA138
Date and Time: February 28, 2022, 11:56 Local
Registration: N7943Y
Aircraft: Piper PA-30 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power) 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

Analysis

Prior to landing during the commercial multi-engine checkride flight, the pilot performed the flight school’s landing checklist as he flew s-turns on the final approach leg to slow for traffic ahead. The pilot reported that “during the unstable approach my attention was divided between obliging the DPE’s (designated pilot examiner) advisements, slower traffic ahead of us, traffic behind, and listening (for a) possibl(e)…go-around (instruction) due to poor spacing.” He stated that he did not see the amber gear-up light illuminate and did not hear the landing gear warning horn. The pilot further reported that during the approach, the DPE advised him to not “reduce the power that much, we’re going to get behind the power curve and sink”, which he heeded. The airplane landed with the landing gear retracted, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage.

A post-accident examination of the airplane revealed that the landing gear motor circuit breaker was open. During recovery of the airplane from the runway, a mechanic reset the circuit breaker, after which the landing gear operated normally. Subsequent testing of the landing gear revealed that the landing gear warning horn and the green landing gear down and locked indicator light functioned normally. According to the airplane owner’s handbook, the amber light should flash when power is reduced on one engine with the landing gear up. The landing gear warning horn should sound when power is reduced on both engines below about 12 inches of manifold pressure if the landing gear is not down and locked. Given the pilot’s report of landing with some engine power applied, the power setting may have been above the threshold to activate the landing gear warning horn.

Another pilot reported that a similar event occurred about two months prior to the accident. During an approach, when he moved the landing gear selector to the down position, there was no noise, and the landing gear down and locked indicator light did not illuminate. He performed a go around, and then discovered that the landing gear motor circuit breaker was open. He reset the circuit breaker and lowered the landing gear, which operated normally thereafter.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The flight crew’s failure to verify the landing gear position prior to landing. Contributing to the accident was an overload in the landing gear motor electrical circuit which resulted in the circuit breaker opening, preventing the landing gear from extending.

Findings

Personnel issues Identification/recognition - Pilot
Aircraft Gear extension and retract sys - Malfunction

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power) (Defining event)
Landing Landing gear not configured
Landing Abnormal runway contact

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Private 
Age: 32, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: February 26, 2022
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: November 28, 2021
Flight Time: 442 hours (Total, all aircraft), 10 hours (Total, this make and model), 372 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 42 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Check pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial; Flight instructor; Remote
Age: Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider; Helicopter
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane; Helicopter 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane multi-engine; Airplane single-engine; Glider; Helicopter
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N7943Y
Model/Series: PA-30 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1966
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 30-1036
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: March 30, 2021 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3725 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5505 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: IO-320-B1A
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 160 Horsepower
Operator: 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot school (141)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: FRG,81 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 11:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 330°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 340°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.29 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 1°C / -15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Shirley, NY (HWV) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Farmingdale, NY 
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 11:30 Local
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: REPUBLIC FRG
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 80 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 32 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6833 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Straight-in; Touch and go

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 40.729274,-73.413421(est)


Location: Farmingdale, New York
Accident Number: ERA22LA138
Date and Time: February 28, 2022, 11:56 Local
Registration: N7943Y
Aircraft: Piper PA-30 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N7943Y
Model/Series: PA-30 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Pilot school (141)
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: FRG,81 ft msl 
Observation Time: 11:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 1°C /-15°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 8 knots / , 340°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.29 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Shirley, NY (HWV) 
Destination: Farmingdale, NY

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 40.729274,-73.413421 (est)

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