Piper PA-23-160 Apache, G-MOLY
The aircraft had completed an uneventful flight, the aircraft was taxied off the runway and, while stationary, the pilot inadvertently operated the landing gear retraction lever. Both left and right landing gear ‘unlocked’ lights illuminated. Realising his mistake, the pilot stopped both engines in order to limit the damage and attempted to manually pump the landing gear into the down position. The right landing gear ‘down and locked’ indication did illuminate, however the left landing gear collapsed causing damage to the left wing tip, left flap and its operating mechanism. The single occupant exited the aircraft without difficulty. The aircraft was jacked, the left landing gear lowered and all three landing gear ‘down and locked’ then illuminated. Examination of the anti-retraction valve showed that the operating arm had been stuck in the closed position. Debris and corrosion in this area had built up causing the operating arm to become stuck. In the opinion of the repair agency it had been in this condition for some time and thus represented a dormant failure. With the anti-retraction valve in the ‘flight’ position it was possible for the landing gear to retract when the aircraft was on the ground.
Piper PA-23-160 Apache, G-MOLY 01-07.pdf (320.64 kb)