|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : gls|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 1500
|Controlling Facilities||tower : gls|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||landing other|
|Function||instruction : instructor|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
pilot : cfi
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 32|
flight time total : 1606
flight time type : 3
|Function||instruction : trainee|
|Qualification||pilot : student|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
none taken : unable
During a solo flight the student experienced a nose wheel collapse. The propeller was damaged beyond repair. A new propeller was hung on the aircraft and it was ferried to scholes field, galveston, tx, for the completion of the repair to the gear and cowlings. In 2/88 the student and I went down to ferry the plane back to ellington field, houston, tx, where the plane is based. The mechanics had reported that the work was finished. When we arrived they had the plane on jacks and were attempting to do a retraction test. The nose gear was hanging up on the gear doors. The owner requested the mechanics complete the repairs replacing any parts they felt necessary, as the insurance deductible had been paid, and there was no reason to skimp on any repairs. On 3/sat/88 the student and I again met in galveston to ferry the plane back to ellington field, houston. We did a thorough preflight, including my lying on my back under the nose gear and examining all turnbuckles, safety wire, and uplocks and everything seemed to be in place. The mechanics released the plane. On downwind he selected gear down, and the 2 main wheels extended but the nose wheel remained in the retracted position. There is a mirror on the pitot tube which permits a view of the nose, and the gear doors were closed. The motor was drawing current. We tried the emergency hand pump, it wa stiff but moveable. No effect on the nose gear. I pulled the gear motor circuit breaker to prevent overheating the gear motor, took control of the aircraft, and departed the pattern in a slow climb to think through our situation. From this point until I land the aircraft, I am in control of the plane, flying from the right side. I contacted the unicom operator at scholes field and told him of our problem with the nose gear, and requested he bring the mechanic to the radio. We established radio contact with mechanic on a separate frequency and he suggested various maneuvers designed to coax the nose gear down. Included among these were simultaneous pumping of the hand pump and sharp pullups, pushovers followed by pullups, attempting to extend the gear at minimum ctlable airspeed and various other combinations and permutations. In all we spent over an hour circling the field at 2000-3000' AGL attempting to get the gear down. We made a low pass over the field and were observed by the mechanics who reported the nose gear doors closed tight, no indications at all. At this time we all (mechanics, myself and owner student) decided to land the aircraft in this condition. I would like to point out that we had taken on 40 gals of fuel before takeoff, and had been up about an hour. Fuel was not a factor in our decision (at least 30 gals left). I notified the unicom operator that we had decided to land. He in turn notified the crash fire rescue stationed on the field. What followed can be best described as confusion. It took the better part of 30 mins to position the crash fire rescue equipment veh's properly. The unicom operator finally called in the city police who led the veh's to the proper position one at a time. We secured all the flight cases in the aircraft with the seatbelts. We made the decision to land west/O flaps to keep the nose off the ground as long as possible, and the student transferred to the rear seat both for his protection and to keep the nose up. The mechanic suggested we try to stop the propeller by stalling the aircraft at altitude with the mixture at idle cut off. I declined using the logic that I would have time to cut the motor after touching down and before the elevator lost effectiveness. Besides which, the galveston airport is surrounded by water on the approach end to runway 13, and the penalty for a short landing would be certainly more severe than the propeller touching the ground on a normal landing. (Runway 13 is 6000' long.) I planned a fast approach with no flaps and as much weight as possible (student in rear seat, baggage in the back). I came over the fence at 100 mph and touched down on the main wheels within the first 500' of the 6000' runway. Mixture to idle cut off, mags and master off and held the pitch level as the airspeed bled off. At about 50 mph the propeller stopped in the horizontal position, and I opened the door on my side. At about 30 mph the elevator lost effectiveness and nose plowed down the runway. I applied the brakes and stopped quickly. We exited the aircraft, student first, instrument second just as the fire trucks arrived. Damage was limited to a bent exhaust stack, and paint removal from the nose gear door. The lower cowling was bent where the exhaust stack exited. The mechanics forced the gear down. With the plane on 3 legs you had to look to see the damage. Conclusions: actions by the occupants were well thought out and successfully executed. Actions by the unicom operator were top notch. The crash fire rescue folks need some brush up, it took entirely too long to position them. The mechanics need to determine the problem which prevented the nose gear from extending before a conclusion can be made re their actions to repair the nose gear in the first place (their initial thoughts centered on the sequencing valve in the gear pump). Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: maintenance has determined that the mechanical up latch was set too tight and the gear hydraulic pump could not over come the up latch pressure. Reporter also said he has read that nose gear problems are chronic in this model small aircraft.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA UNABLE TO EXTEND NOSE GEAR, LANDED WITH NOSE GEAR UP.
Narrative: DURING A SOLO FLT THE STUDENT EXPERIENCED A NOSE WHEEL COLLAPSE. THE PROP WAS DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR. A NEW PROP WAS HUNG ON THE ACFT AND IT WAS FERRIED TO SCHOLES FIELD, GALVESTON, TX, FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE REPAIR TO THE GEAR AND COWLINGS. IN 2/88 THE STUDENT AND I WENT DOWN TO FERRY THE PLANE BACK TO ELLINGTON FIELD, HOUSTON, TX, WHERE THE PLANE IS BASED. THE MECHS HAD RPTED THAT THE WORK WAS FINISHED. WHEN WE ARRIVED THEY HAD THE PLANE ON JACKS AND WERE ATTEMPTING TO DO A RETRACTION TEST. THE NOSE GEAR WAS HANGING UP ON THE GEAR DOORS. THE OWNER REQUESTED THE MECHS COMPLETE THE REPAIRS REPLACING ANY PARTS THEY FELT NECESSARY, AS THE INSURANCE DEDUCTIBLE HAD BEEN PAID, AND THERE WAS NO REASON TO SKIMP ON ANY REPAIRS. ON 3/SAT/88 THE STUDENT AND I AGAIN MET IN GALVESTON TO FERRY THE PLANE BACK TO ELLINGTON FIELD, HOUSTON. WE DID A THOROUGH PREFLT, INCLUDING MY LYING ON MY BACK UNDER THE NOSE GEAR AND EXAMINING ALL TURNBUCKLES, SAFETY WIRE, AND UPLOCKS AND EVERYTHING SEEMED TO BE IN PLACE. THE MECHS RELEASED THE PLANE. ON DOWNWIND HE SELECTED GEAR DOWN, AND THE 2 MAIN WHEELS EXTENDED BUT THE NOSE WHEEL REMAINED IN THE RETRACTED POS. THERE IS A MIRROR ON THE PITOT TUBE WHICH PERMITS A VIEW OF THE NOSE, AND THE GEAR DOORS WERE CLOSED. THE MOTOR WAS DRAWING CURRENT. WE TRIED THE EMER HAND PUMP, IT WA STIFF BUT MOVEABLE. NO EFFECT ON THE NOSE GEAR. I PULLED THE GEAR MOTOR CB TO PREVENT OVERHEATING THE GEAR MOTOR, TOOK CTL OF THE ACFT, AND DEPARTED THE PATTERN IN A SLOW CLB TO THINK THROUGH OUR SITUATION. FROM THIS POINT UNTIL I LAND THE ACFT, I AM IN CTL OF THE PLANE, FLYING FROM THE RIGHT SIDE. I CONTACTED THE UNICOM OPERATOR AT SCHOLES FIELD AND TOLD HIM OF OUR PROB WITH THE NOSE GEAR, AND REQUESTED HE BRING THE MECH TO THE RADIO. WE ESTABLISHED RADIO CONTACT WITH MECH ON A SEPARATE FREQ AND HE SUGGESTED VARIOUS MANEUVERS DESIGNED TO COAX THE NOSE GEAR DOWN. INCLUDED AMONG THESE WERE SIMULTANEOUS PUMPING OF THE HAND PUMP AND SHARP PULLUPS, PUSHOVERS FOLLOWED BY PULLUPS, ATTEMPTING TO EXTEND THE GEAR AT MINIMUM CTLABLE AIRSPD AND VARIOUS OTHER COMBINATIONS AND PERMUTATIONS. IN ALL WE SPENT OVER AN HOUR CIRCLING THE FIELD AT 2000-3000' AGL ATTEMPTING TO GET THE GEAR DOWN. WE MADE A LOW PASS OVER THE FIELD AND WERE OBSERVED BY THE MECHS WHO RPTED THE NOSE GEAR DOORS CLOSED TIGHT, NO INDICATIONS AT ALL. AT THIS TIME WE ALL (MECHS, MYSELF AND OWNER STUDENT) DECIDED TO LAND THE ACFT IN THIS CONDITION. I WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT WE HAD TAKEN ON 40 GALS OF FUEL BEFORE TKOF, AND HAD BEEN UP ABOUT AN HOUR. FUEL WAS NOT A FACTOR IN OUR DECISION (AT LEAST 30 GALS LEFT). I NOTIFIED THE UNICOM OPERATOR THAT WE HAD DECIDED TO LAND. HE IN TURN NOTIFIED THE CRASH FIRE RESCUE STATIONED ON THE FIELD. WHAT FOLLOWED CAN BE BEST DESCRIBED AS CONFUSION. IT TOOK THE BETTER PART OF 30 MINS TO POS THE CFR VEH'S PROPERLY. THE UNICOM OPERATOR FINALLY CALLED IN THE CITY POLICE WHO LED THE VEH'S TO THE PROPER POS ONE AT A TIME. WE SECURED ALL THE FLT CASES IN THE ACFT WITH THE SEATBELTS. WE MADE THE DECISION TO LAND W/O FLAPS TO KEEP THE NOSE OFF THE GND AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, AND THE STUDENT TRANSFERRED TO THE REAR SEAT BOTH FOR HIS PROTECTION AND TO KEEP THE NOSE UP. THE MECH SUGGESTED WE TRY TO STOP THE PROP BY STALLING THE ACFT AT ALT WITH THE MIXTURE AT IDLE CUT OFF. I DECLINED USING THE LOGIC THAT I WOULD HAVE TIME TO CUT THE MOTOR AFTER TOUCHING DOWN AND BEFORE THE ELEVATOR LOST EFFECTIVENESS. BESIDES WHICH, THE GALVESTON ARPT IS SURROUNDED BY WATER ON THE APCH END TO RWY 13, AND THE PENALTY FOR A SHORT LNDG WOULD BE CERTAINLY MORE SEVERE THAN THE PROP TOUCHING THE GND ON A NORMAL LNDG. (RWY 13 IS 6000' LONG.) I PLANNED A FAST APCH WITH NO FLAPS AND AS MUCH WT AS POSSIBLE (STUDENT IN REAR SEAT, BAGGAGE IN THE BACK). I CAME OVER THE FENCE AT 100 MPH AND TOUCHED DOWN ON THE MAIN WHEELS WITHIN THE FIRST 500' OF THE 6000' RWY. MIXTURE TO IDLE CUT OFF, MAGS AND MASTER OFF AND HELD THE PITCH LEVEL AS THE AIRSPD BLED OFF. AT ABOUT 50 MPH THE PROP STOPPED IN THE HORIZ POS, AND I OPENED THE DOOR ON MY SIDE. AT ABOUT 30 MPH THE ELEVATOR LOST EFFECTIVENESS AND NOSE PLOWED DOWN THE RWY. I APPLIED THE BRAKES AND STOPPED QUICKLY. WE EXITED THE ACFT, STUDENT FIRST, INSTR SECOND JUST AS THE FIRE TRUCKS ARRIVED. DAMAGE WAS LIMITED TO A BENT EXHAUST STACK, AND PAINT REMOVAL FROM THE NOSE GEAR DOOR. THE LOWER COWLING WAS BENT WHERE THE EXHAUST STACK EXITED. THE MECHS FORCED THE GEAR DOWN. WITH THE PLANE ON 3 LEGS YOU HAD TO LOOK TO SEE THE DAMAGE. CONCLUSIONS: ACTIONS BY THE OCCUPANTS WERE WELL THOUGHT OUT AND SUCCESSFULLY EXECUTED. ACTIONS BY THE UNICOM OPERATOR WERE TOP NOTCH. THE CRASH FIRE RESCUE FOLKS NEED SOME BRUSH UP, IT TOOK ENTIRELY TOO LONG TO POSITION THEM. THE MECHS NEED TO DETERMINE THE PROB WHICH PREVENTED THE NOSE GEAR FROM EXTENDING BEFORE A CONCLUSION CAN BE MADE RE THEIR ACTIONS TO REPAIR THE NOSE GEAR IN THE FIRST PLACE (THEIR INITIAL THOUGHTS CENTERED ON THE SEQUENCING VALVE IN THE GEAR PUMP). CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: MAINT HAS DETERMINED THAT THE MECHANICAL UP LATCH WAS SET TOO TIGHT AND THE GEAR HYD PUMP COULD NOT OVER COME THE UP LATCH PRESSURE. RPTR ALSO SAID HE HAS READ THAT NOSE GEAR PROBS ARE CHRONIC IN THIS MODEL SMA.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 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.