Shortly after touchdown, G-ULSY’s left landing gear assembly failed, allowing the mainwheel to pivot rearwards and inwards towards the fuselage. The aircraft veered left uncontrollably, departed the prepared surface and came to rest in long grass adjacent to the runway. Neither occupant was injured and they vacated the aircraft unaided.
Investigation revealed that the rod end bolt connecting the drag link to the undercarriage assembly had sheared forward of the rose joint lock nut.
The pilot reported that the touchdown was not unduly heavy and that he had not started braking at the time of failure. It was not possible to determine what caused the bolt to shear.
While other aircraft types, such as the Pietenpol Air Camper, have experienced issues with undercarriage rod end bearing failures, this was the first such Ikarus C42 incident notified to the aircraft type’s CAMO. The CAMO would continue to monitor component failure trends and would take action should rod end reliability become a cause for concern.
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Published 6 December 2018