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Summary

Summary

When the pilot lowered the landing gear the indications were that the left main gear had not extended. After several attempts at freeing the gear by recycling, the pilot decided to return to Horn Island where a ground inspection by maintenance staff was available together with emergency services. He also ascertained that the gear bulb was serviceable. After a fly past, it was decided that the gear appeared to be down. The hydraulic system had pressurised which indicated to the pilot that the gear was most likely locked down.

The pilot decided to land. On late final approach he feathered both propellers and made all switches safe. During the landing roll the left main gear collapsed rearwards to the trailing edge of the wing but the wheel continued to rotate. The wing of the aircraft did not touch the ground. All persons on board evacuated the aircraft safely. Post flight inspection revealed that the centre drag bolt had sheared allowing the left gear to fold rearwards. Evidence from the major defect report indicates that the bolt had failed as a result of being overstressed on a previous occasion probably as a result of an unreported heavy landing.

 
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