Piper PA-23-250 Aztec, N54211
The nose landing gear would not lock down in flight. The pilot attempted to lock the gear down by using the emergency hand pump, the emergency gas blow-down bottle, and by manoeuvring the aircraft but none of these attempts had any effect. The pilot carried out a flapless approach and then once over the runway threshold he shut down both engines and feathered both propellers. After a normal touchdown on the main gear the aircraft rolled for a short distance before the nose sank to the runway. The nose gear retracted and the nose of the aircraft scraped along the runway surface until the aircraft came to a rest. Both the pilot and his passenger were able to vacate the aircraft via the normal exit door. No mechanical fault with the nose gear down lock system was found but hydraulic fluid was found congealed to the belly of the aircraft aft of the nose gear bay. The loss of nose gear actuator extension force was attributed to the loss of hydraulic fluid.
Published 10 December 2014