AAIB investigation to Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, G-ARLB, 11 June 2016

Heavy landing, Old Buckenham Airfield, Norfolk, 11 June 2016.


The aircraft was on approach to Runway 25 in conditions of good visibility and with a light and variable wind. The pilot reported that, at about 20 ft above the runway, he allowed the speed to begin to reduce and began to flare the aircraft. Shortly afterwards the aircraft touched down heavily on its main landing gear and the nose of the aircraft “sank lower than expected”. The propeller hit the runway. The aircraft came to a halt on the runway and the occupants vacated it uninjured.

The creasing on the underside of the left wing indicated that there was a higher-than-normal rate of descent on touchdown. The orientation of the nose landing gear drag brace (extended and slightly over-centre) indicated that the nose landing gear was locked down during the approach. It was also noted that the nose gear piston broke towards its top which suggested that it broke immediately on touchdown before the piston began to move into the nose gear cylinder under the weight of the aircraft’s nose section.

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Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, G-ARLB 11-16

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Glossary of abbreviations

Published 10 November 2016