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The aircraft is not frequently used except for short, concentrated periods of activity. At other times it is left parked at Coolangatta Aerodrome and is subject to the harsh coastal environment. During an eight day business trip around Queensland in the aircraft, some gear problems were encountered. At Mackay, several days before the accident, the pilot discovered that a left main gear door linkage had sheared because lack of lubrication had seized the ball joint. Upon inspection, the right gear door linkage was similarly seized. The damaged items were serviced by a licenced aircraft maintenance engineer before the flight continued to Hamilton Island. Later, departing Hamilton Island, the pilot noticed that the GEAR UNSAFE light remained illuminated after gear retraction. Recycling the gear gave a correct gear down indication each time but the GEAR UNSAFE light remained lit after each retraction. A visual inspection by the Tower Controller convinced the pilot that the gear was indeed stowed and he assumed that the problem was of an electrical nature. The unsafe indication continued for the duration of the round trip. When the pilot selected gear down upon his arrival at Archerfield, the right maingear remained in the wheelwell. Attempts were made to shake the gear down but to no avail. With last light approaching, the pilot decided to commence an approach for a wheels-up landing on Runway 04R. During late final approach the pilot shut the engine down. The resultant high rate of descent surprised the pilot who realised that the aircraft would now land short of the threshold. The aircraft landed heavily on cross runway and slid onto the threshold. Investigation has revealed that the right maingear torque link bolt sheared, causing the oleo to over-extend and jam the wheel in the wheelwell. The failed bolt and bushes had corroded and seized in the torque links causing the bolt to shear with movement of the torque links. The torque link bolts are not normally removed and lubricated during routine servicing.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 24KB]
General details
Date: 30 November 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1840  
Location:Archerfield Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland Occurrence type: Wheels up landing 
Release date: 06 March 1989 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-32 
Aircraft registration: VH-MHU 
Serial number: 32R-7885278 
Type of operation: Business 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Roma QLD
Departure time:1630
Destination:Archerfield QLD
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