Nosewheel detached on landing, Westonzoyland Airfield, Somerset, 8 January 2017.
On returning to the airfield after a short local flight, the aircraft floated before settling onto the main landing gear. Upon lowering the nose, the pilot reported that there was a “bang and the aircraft felt unstable”. The aircraft dropped onto its nose and the propeller broke when it struck the ground. The aircraft slid to a halt and the pilot, who was uninjured, exited normally.
Examination by the Light Aircraft Association (LAA) established that the nosewheel and fork assembly had separated due to overload. The nose landing gear overcentre mechanism was found to be locked and the firewall had been distorted rearwards by the forces imparted during the accident. The nature of the damage indicated that the nose gear had experienced heavy loads during the landing, possibly associated with ‘wheelbarrowing’.
The LAA have undertaken a review of recent Pioneer 300 landing gear incidents and a precis of their findings is presented in a ‘Safety Spot’ article within their March 2017 ‘Light Aviation’ publication.
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Published: 11 May 2017
Date of occurrence: 8 January 2017