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The pilot of the Piper Seneca advised that after a normal approach and landing at Hopetoun Vic he sensed that the nose landing gear was retracting. He stated that he recycled the landing gear lever to ensure that the gear was down but the nose continued to lower as the nose landing gear collapsed.Concurrent with this the right main gear also retracted and the aircraft settled just off the strip. The pilot and his three passengers were able to evacuate successfully. Shortly after the accident the pilot commented that he had three greens on approach, and that he was now aware that recycling the landing gear selector was not the optimum action that could have been taken. The pilot later advised that he had been told that it was possible that the nose landing gear could have retracted due to being out of adjustment, and that the right main landing gear could have retracted as a consequence of the hydraulic pressure being generated by the collapsing nose landing gear. The pilot also stated that he and his front seat passenger were now sure that he had not recycled the landing gear selector during the accident sequence. Discussion with maintenance organizations found that there has been various causes for Piper Seneca nose landing gear malfunctions, maladjustment being just one of the causes. However the landing gear system is such that the down locks need to be selected before they release. A detailed examination of the aircraft will be undertaken after the aircraft has been recovered to a maintenance facility.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 14KB]
General details
Date: 24 October 1997 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 10:25 EST  
 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
 Occurrence type: Wheels up landing 
Release date: 21 November 1997 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-34-200T 
Aircraft registration: VH-COP 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Mildura Vic.
Destination:Hopetoun Vic.
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Last update 28 October 2014