Piper PA-32-300, N2989M
Immediately after touchdown at Newmarket, at the end of a flight from Middleham, the pilot retracted the flaps to prevent ‘float’ in an attempt to improve the aircraft’s braking performance. It passed over an undulation in the grass runway surface and became airborne again. The pilot was unable to arrest the subsequent descent and the aircraft made what was described by the pilot as a ‘firm’ landing. No specific inspection of the aircraft, other than its normal pre-flight inspection, was carried out at Newmarket and the aircraft returned to Middleham without incident. Two days later, during a routine maintenance inspection, serious structural damage was found affecting both lower wing skins and the right wing leading edge. This damage was considered to have weakened the wing structure sufficiently such that there was a risk of a structural failure during the aircraft’s return flight to Middleham.
Published 10 December 2014