Piper PA-25-235 Pawnee, G-BFEV
The aircraft was being operated as a glider tug at Kirton-in-Lindsey Airfield. On the seventh landing of the day the pilot reported hearing a “crack” sound just after touchdown.
Suspecting a failure in the landing gear, the pilot shut down the engine whilst taxiing. The aircraft came to a controlled stop with the right wing low, but not touching the ground. The damage was inspected by the repair agency for the aircraft. Inspection revealed that the hydraulic damping unit, to which the undercarriage retaining bungees are attached, had sheared at its upper end, causing the landing gear partially to collapse on the right side.
The repair agency consider that the bungees that hold the landing gear in place prevented total collapse of the landing gear, and damage to the wing and propeller, and comment that inspection of this strut is part of the aircraft periodic 50-hour check. The repair agency suggests that pilots who fly this aircraft regularly inspect the top of the strut for signs of wear. The pilot assessed the cause of the failure to be “wear and tear”.
Published 10 December 2014