|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : hsv.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Duchess 76|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||ground : parked|
ground other : pre-start
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
pilot : cfi
pilot : multi engine
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 82.1|
flight time total : 1093.6
flight time type : 56.6
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
This flight was to be a next-to-last solo practice of maneuvers required for a multi-engine instructor check ride scheduled with a designated examiner. I arrived at the FBO/flight school approximately 45 mins before my scheduled flight. The incident aircraft was not in its normal parking area, and the owner of the FBO told me that the aircraft was in the avionics shop for some work (rewiring) on the new/additional hobbs meter. The owner walked over to the avionics shop, returned and handed me the clipboard containing the time-in/out sheet and the aircraft keys, and told me the aircraft was ready to fly and that it was located in front of the avionics hangar. I proceeded to the aircraft and accomplished a complete interior and exterior preflight inspection per the manufacturer's poh. After arranging the cockpit in my usual manner (for right seat operation), I began running the 'before starting' portion of the poh. This checklist includes: 'landing gear handle -- down.' when I turned the battery switch 'on' I heard a brief (approximately 1 second) 'whirring' sound that caused me to scan the cockpit and surrounding area for the source of the unfamiliar noise. Approximately 3-5 seconds after the first sound, another 'whirring' sound was heard. As I reached for the battery switch after the second sound, the nose gear retracted and the aircraft came to rest on the nose gear doors and the left engine propeller. The battery switch was shut off, and I exited the aircraft shortly thereafter. The aircraft was almost immediately surrounded by a group of FBO maintenance personnel, and 3 FAA aircraft safety inspectors who happened to be conducting an inspection at the maintenance shop(south). At the FAA's request, I provided my pilot's certificate, medical certificate, and a written statement of the incident. I was also asked if I had 'intended to fly,' to which I answered 'yes.' copies of the FBO aircraft reservation book page for the day of the incident were requested of the FBO. The nose of the aircraft was lifted by the engine hoist points and the tail tie-down, and the nose gear manually placed into position and safety-clamped before the aircraft was moved into the maintenance hangar. As of today, it is my understanding that the aircraft mechanics and FAA inspectors have not yet determined the ultimate cause of the incident. Based on discussions overheard between the senior FAA inspector and the owner(south) of the FBO, I understand that there was some question as to if the airplane was 'officially' released for flight following the maintenance performed earlier that day, and some additional questions as to the documentation of the last annual inspection. To the best of my knowledge (specifically based on the owner's authority/authorized to fly the aircraft) the aircraft was airworthy.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A DUCHESS 76 NOSE LNDG GEAR RETRACTED WHEN A PLT APPLIED ELECTRICAL PWR DURING PREFLT.
Narrative: THIS FLT WAS TO BE A NEXT-TO-LAST SOLO PRACTICE OF MANEUVERS REQUIRED FOR A MULTI-ENG INSTRUCTOR CHK RIDE SCHEDULED WITH A DESIGNATED EXAMINER. I ARRIVED AT THE FBO/FLT SCHOOL APPROX 45 MINS BEFORE MY SCHEDULED FLT. THE INCIDENT ACFT WAS NOT IN ITS NORMAL PARKING AREA, AND THE OWNER OF THE FBO TOLD ME THAT THE ACFT WAS IN THE AVIONICS SHOP FOR SOME WORK (REWIRING) ON THE NEW/ADDITIONAL HOBBS METER. THE OWNER WALKED OVER TO THE AVIONICS SHOP, RETURNED AND HANDED ME THE CLIPBOARD CONTAINING THE TIME-IN/OUT SHEET AND THE ACFT KEYS, AND TOLD ME THE ACFT WAS READY TO FLY AND THAT IT WAS LOCATED IN FRONT OF THE AVIONICS HANGAR. I PROCEEDED TO THE ACFT AND ACCOMPLISHED A COMPLETE INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR PREFLT INSPECTION PER THE MANUFACTURER'S POH. AFTER ARRANGING THE COCKPIT IN MY USUAL MANNER (FOR R SEAT OP), I BEGAN RUNNING THE 'BEFORE STARTING' PORTION OF THE POH. THIS CHKLIST INCLUDES: 'LNDG GEAR HANDLE -- DOWN.' WHEN I TURNED THE BATTERY SWITCH 'ON' I HEARD A BRIEF (APPROX 1 SECOND) 'WHIRRING' SOUND THAT CAUSED ME TO SCAN THE COCKPIT AND SURROUNDING AREA FOR THE SOURCE OF THE UNFAMILIAR NOISE. APPROX 3-5 SECONDS AFTER THE FIRST SOUND, ANOTHER 'WHIRRING' SOUND WAS HEARD. AS I REACHED FOR THE BATTERY SWITCH AFTER THE SECOND SOUND, THE NOSE GEAR RETRACTED AND THE ACFT CAME TO REST ON THE NOSE GEAR DOORS AND THE L ENG PROP. THE BATTERY SWITCH WAS SHUT OFF, AND I EXITED THE ACFT SHORTLY THEREAFTER. THE ACFT WAS ALMOST IMMEDIATELY SURROUNDED BY A GROUP OF FBO MAINT PERSONNEL, AND 3 FAA ACFT SAFETY INSPECTORS WHO HAPPENED TO BE CONDUCTING AN INSPECTION AT THE MAINT SHOP(S). AT THE FAA'S REQUEST, I PROVIDED MY PLT'S CERTIFICATE, MEDICAL CERTIFICATE, AND A WRITTEN STATEMENT OF THE INCIDENT. I WAS ALSO ASKED IF I HAD 'INTENDED TO FLY,' TO WHICH I ANSWERED 'YES.' COPIES OF THE FBO ACFT RESERVATION BOOK PAGE FOR THE DAY OF THE INCIDENT WERE REQUESTED OF THE FBO. THE NOSE OF THE ACFT WAS LIFTED BY THE ENG HOIST POINTS AND THE TAIL TIE-DOWN, AND THE NOSE GEAR MANUALLY PLACED INTO POS AND SAFETY-CLAMPED BEFORE THE ACFT WAS MOVED INTO THE MAINT HANGAR. AS OF TODAY, IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT THE ACFT MECHS AND FAA INSPECTORS HAVE NOT YET DETERMINED THE ULTIMATE CAUSE OF THE INCIDENT. BASED ON DISCUSSIONS OVERHEARD BTWN THE SENIOR FAA INSPECTOR AND THE OWNER(S) OF THE FBO, I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE WAS SOME QUESTION AS TO IF THE AIRPLANE WAS 'OFFICIALLY' RELEASED FOR FLT FOLLOWING THE MAINT PERFORMED EARLIER THAT DAY, AND SOME ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AS TO THE DOCUMENTATION OF THE LAST ANNUAL INSPECTION. TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE (SPECIFICALLY BASED ON THE OWNER'S AUTH TO FLY THE ACFT) THE ACFT WAS AIRWORTHY.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.