NTSB Identification: ERA16LA092
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, January 18, 2016 in Dublin, GA
Aircraft: PIPER PA 30, registration: N68X
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On January 18, 2016 about 1145 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-30, N68X, was substantially damaged when the landing gear collapsed during landing rollout at W H "Bud" Barron Airport (DBN), Dublin, Georgia. The flight instructor and private pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local instructional flight conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
According to the private pilot, he was receiving multi-engine flight instruction from the flight instructor when the accident occurred. The weather was windy but clear with the temperature in the low 40s [Fahrenheit]. They departed DBN at approximately 1015 after allowing about 15 minutes runtime for the engines' temperatures to warm up. Their intent was to remain in the local area to perform practice maneuvers in preparation for his check ride for a multi-engine rating. Due to severe low-level turbulence, they operated at an altitude from 4,500 to 5,500 feet above mean sea level.
They performed several maneuvers including 30- and 45-degree banking turns while maintaining assigned altitude, low-power stalls and recovery while maintaining heading, power-on stalls and recovery while maintaining heading, single engine power failure recognition and flight control procedures including emergency engine failure checklist application. They also practiced single-engine flight with the landing gear retracted and extended, as well as with the wing flaps retracted and extended. After 45 to 50 minutes of flight, they performed a practice emergency descent from 4,500 feet msl to pattern altitude with the landing gear and wing flaps extended, and the throttles at idle. They then entered the traffic pattern for runway 32 on the left downwind leg at approximately 1,200 feet msl and performed a normal full stop landing.
After taxiing back to beginning of runway 32, they then reviewed procedures for a short field obstacle takeoff, and for a short field obstacle landing. The short field takeoff was normal per the Piper PA-30 POH recommendations, with the landing gear retracted upon indication of a positive climb, followed by retraction of the wing flaps from the takeoff position. After takeoff, they once again joined the traffic pattern for another landing. When they were at 1,200 feet on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, power was reduced to approximately 20 inches of manifold pressure on both engines to slow the airplane below 150 mph for landing gear extension. Abeam the numbers for runway 32, they completed the pre-landing checklist and ensured that the fuel pumps were on, landing gear extended to the down and locked position, mixtures set to full rich, and power reduced to 24 inches of manifold pressure. The private pilot further reduced power to approximately 15 inches of manifold pressure while turning on to the left base leg of the traffic pattern. He then verbally called out the "GUMP" check (gear, undercarriage, mixture, props) with acknowledgment from his flight instructor, and then turned onto the final at approximately 800 feet msl, with his speed at 110 mph to compensate for the wind gusts.
When he crossed the threshold of runway 32 at approximately 400 feet and 100 mph, he further reduced power and closed the throttles. He then descended towards the runway, and commenced his flare as the airspeed decreased. All indications of touchdown were normal with weight on wheels, for approximately 50 yards or so when it felt as if the aircraft was "shimmying," followed shortly thereafter by the "sandpaper sound" of the propellers striking the runway. The airplane then settled completely on its belly and slid to right of centerline where it came to a stop. The flight instructor said he smelled smoke so the private pilot moved the fuel tank valves to off position and they both departed the airplane.
Examination of the runway and wreckage revealed that approximately 2,000 feet from the approach end of runway 32, propeller strike marks were visible that corresponded to the location of the left and right propellers on the accident airplane. At the approximately the same location scrape marks were also visible on the runway centerline which corresponded the airplane's belly. The scrape and propeller strike marks continued from this point, approximately 700 feet to the location where the airplane came to rest.
In order to examine the airplane, it was moved to a hangar on the airport and placed on aircraft jacks. Examination of the two-blade propellers revealed that the tip on one propeller blade of both the left and right propellers was bent forward with the tip of the other blade of each propeller bent aft. Examination of the airplane's fuselage revealed that its belly was substantially damaged from the aft end of the nose landing gear wheel well, aft through the mid-section of the fuselage, with numerous areas that were ground down into the frames and longerons. The landing gear system was also examined and no damage to the landing gear system or wheels was observed. A complete operational check of the landing gear system was performed and the landing gear was extended and retracted several times with no discrepancies noted.
According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and pilot records, the flight instructor held an airline transport pilot certificate with a rating for airplane multi-engine land, commercial privileges for airplane airplane single-engine land, and a type rating for the BE-300. He also possessed a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument airplane. He also held a ground instructor certificate with ratings for advanced and instrument, and a control tower operator certificate. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on August 11, 2015. He reported that he had accrued 5,001total hours of flight experience, 25 of which were in the accident airplane make and model.
According to FAA and pilot records, the private pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on February 21, 2014. He reported that he had accrued 689 total hours of flight experience, 10 of which were in the accident airplane make and model.
According to FAA and airplane maintenance records, the airplane was manufactured in 1963. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on October 23, 2015. At the time of the inspection, the airplane had accrued approximately 5459.7 total hours of operation, and the engines had accrued approximately 1834.5 total hours of operation since major overhaul.