Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA34-200, VH-CJI, Bankstown NSW, 27 February 1989

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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After take-off the pilot had selected gear up. During climb, at about 1600 feet, he noticed that the red gear unsafe light was still illuminated, and by checking the nacelle mirror, that the nosegear was still extended. The wheel also appeared to be turned at an angle. The aircraft returned to Bankstown, where it was observed that the nosewheel was turned through about 80 degrees to the right. Use of full rudder travel and cycling of the landing gear failed to produce any change in the position of the nosegear, although the maingear retracted and extended normally. After seeking engineering advice, the pilot elected to land on grass and an area was prepared on the left of, and parallel to Runway 11 Left. He advised that he intended to shut down the engines on late final and position the propellers to preclude ground contact on landing. At about 200 feet on final approach he closed both mixtures, but had insufficient time to reposition the propellers. The aircraft dropped with a high sink rate and touched down 110 metres short of the intended landing area. On initial ground contact, the left main gear pushed up through the wing and broke off. The aircraft slewed to the left and the nose gear broke off during the 85 metre ground slide. It was found that the right hand nose wheel steering stop had been sheared, probably during ground handling operations. This resulted in detachment of the tiller roller from the steering channel and bending of the torque link pivot bolt. The torque link subsequently failed across the pivot bolt hole, allowing the nose leg to turn approximately 80 degrees.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 24KB]
General details
Date: 27 February 1989   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1953    
Location: Bankstown    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 14 February 1991   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-34  
Aircraft registration VH-CJI  
Serial number 34-7250099  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Bankstown NSW  
Departure time 1855  
Destination Parafield SA