Robin HR200/120, G-GBXF
The flight was planned as a refresher for the pilot under instruction who held a PPL. After carrying out a normal visual approach, in calm wind conditions, to Runway 26 at Alderney; the instructor stated that the subsequent landing was slightly heavier than normal. However, during the landing roll, the instructor noticed the aircraft begin to veer to the right. He took control and was able to steer the aircraft onto the grass beside the runway. Both occupants exited the aircraft without difficulty. During the subsequent inspection, it was found that the right main landing gear oleo piston tube had fractured. Metallurgical examination showed that it had failed in fatigue; the piston tube had been separated for some time as evidenced by debris and damage to the fracture surface. It is likely that the piston tube, having been failed at this location for some time had continued to operate normally within the shock strut. However, in this landing, the heavier than normal touchdown had allowed the piston tube to rebound beyond the normal operating range, thus allowing the lower portion to separate.
Published 10 December 2014