Insurance checkout ends in a mishap

General Aviation News will often reprint excerpts from US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident reports including one from a May 2010 report about an incident that seriously damaged a Piper Comanche in Carrollton (Georgia) but luckily caused no injuries.

According to the investigation, the pilot had just purchased a share in the low-wing airplane and was receiving a checkout from a CFI for insurance purposes. While attempting to land the Piper Comanche with a simulated engine failure, the pilot misjudged the approach.

However, the CFI did not attempt to take control of the Piper – even when it was apparent the aircraft would not make it to the runway. Instead, the aircraft touched down 90 feet short of it.

The aircraft’s nose wheel then struck the edge of the runway causing the nose-gear to collapse and the pilot initiated a go-around. On the second landing attempt, the airplane skidded to a stop resulting in substantial damage to the firewall.

After the incident, the pilot stated that the firewall damage was likely sustained as the landing gear crossed the edge of the runway pavement and that the majority of his flight experience had been in high-wing aircraft – where its also easier to see both the main landing gear and runway.

Hence, the cause of the accident was ruled the pilot’s improper touchdown point while attempting a landing but the CFI’s actions or rather the lack thereof, was also ruled a contributing factor.

Photo credit: shelbs2

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