Aviation safety investigations & reports

Cessna Aircraft Company 404, VH-SKW

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


A Cessna 404 Titan aircraft was being operated on a scheduled passenger service from Cairns to Aurukun.

At 1116 EST, the crew reported to Brisbane Air Traffic Control that they were holding overhead Aurukun with an unsafe landing gear indication. At about 1212 EST, the crew advised ATC that they intended to land at Arukun. The aircraft's nose landing gear collapsed soon after contacting the runway during the landing roll. The aircraft sustained significant impact damage to both propellers and the nose landing gear, and abrasion damage to the forward underside of the fuselage. There were no injuries.

The pilot later reported that the flight had proceeded normally until about 200 feet above ground level during approach to land when he noticed the red landing-gear unlocked light illuminate. All three green landing-gear down lights were also illuminated. The crew conducted a missed approach and then held overhead the runway while assessing the problem, and to reduce the fuel load. They found that the landing-gear circuit breaker had tripped. The crew reset the circuit breaker but it tripped again immediately. They then attempted to extend the landing-gear using the emergency system, but were unsuccessful.

The landing gear system was examined by company engineering personnel, who informed the ATSB that they found that electrical arcing had occurred across multiple terminals in the cannon plug connector located at the bulkhead of the nose-wheel well. Several of the terminals had fused together, causing the erroneous landing gear position indications. The most likely reason for the arcing was the ingress of moisture. The emergency extension system operated normally when tested by maintenance personnel who advised that the crew had probably not operated the emergency extension system correctly.

The ATSB did not conduct an on site investigation of this accident. All information relating to the accident was obtained from the flight crew and company engineering personnel.

General details
Date: 08 November 2000   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1135 hours EST    
Location   (show map): Aurukun, (ALA)    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Wheels up landing  
Release date: 22 May 2001   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 404  
Aircraft registration VH-SKW  
Serial number 4040042  
Type of operation Air Transport Low Capacity  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Cairns, QLD  
Departure time 0840 EST  
Destination Aurukun, QLD  
Crew details
Role Class of licence Hours on type Hours total
Pilot-in-Command Commercial 2100.00 9000
Last update 13 May 2014