Aviation safety investigations & reports

Mooney M20-E, VH-IJN, Camden NSW, 7 January 1986

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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Approaching the circuit area the pilot selected the landing gear down, but the appropriate gear position light did not illuminate. The pilot then noticed that all electrical systems were inoperative. He subsequently advised that he checked the mechanically operated position indicator, and was satisfied that the gear was down. Witnesses observed the aircraft making a normal approach but then saw the gear collapse shortly after touchdown. Initial investigation revealed that the aircraft battery was fully discharged. The aircraft alternator had failed some time previously, and the battery had been steadily depleted. However, this situation would not have been evident to the pilot, as the ammeter was defective and showed a steady charge at all times. The last part of the gear extension cycle results in a very small movement of the position indicator, and it is considered difficult to assess the precise position of the gear by reference to the indicator. The aircraft handbook warns that a discharged battery may prevent the gear from fully extending by electrical power. The pilot was aware of this warning, but had not employed the emergency lowering procedure to ensure that the gear was locked down.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 07 January 1986   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1200    
Location: Camden    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Wheels up landing  
Release date: 15 August 1986   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Mooney Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model M20  
Aircraft registration VH-IJN  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Camden NSW  
Departure time 1200  
Destination Camden NSW