AAIB investigation to Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee, G-ASIL
Bounced landing and nose gear collapse at Wolverhampton Airport on 2 July 2014.
The aircraft was on the approach to Runway 16 at Wolverhampton Halfpenny Green Airport. It had joined the circuit on the downwind leg at 1,100 ft agl, slowing to 90 mph on base leg whilst extending two stages of flap. After turning finals, the pilot reduced speed to 85 mph whilst selecting the third stage of flap and, crossing the airfield boundary, he again slowed to 80 mph. He states that he was happy with all aspects of the approach as he then closed the throttle to glide the remaining 50 – 100 ft to touchdown. As he neared the beginning of the paved surface, he started to flare the aircraft but, before the flare was complete, the wheels touched and the aircraft bounced, he believes three times, before the nose landing gear collapsed and the aircraft slid to a halt on its nose.
The pilot believes that the aircraft struck a bump at the beginning of the touchdown zone, whilst it was in a relatively flat attitude, and travelling quite fast across the ground due to the lack of headwind and the lack of opportunity to lose speed in the flare.
Date of occurrence: 2 July 2014