Piper PA34 Seneca
Thomasville, Georgia/Injuries: 4
While the commercial pilot was lowering the landing gear for the approach to landing, the left main landing gear (MLG) did not indicate down and locked. The pilot cycled the landing gear three times and then used the manual landing gear extension procedure, but the gear did not extend. After airport personnel reported that all three landing gear appeared to be down, the pilot continued the approach for a full-stop landing. After touchdown, the left MLG collapsed. The airplane turned 90° to the left and then came to a stop in the grass adjacent to the runway. The left wing sustained substantial damage. Postaccident examination of the left MLG revealed that it remained partially retracted in the gear well. The other landing gear were down and locked. After the airplane was raised with a backhoe and the left MLG was manually pulled down, the down-lock hooks would not engage, and the drag links would not allow full extension. When a mechanic ran his finger through the drag link mating surfaces, a small stone fell out. Once the stone was removed, the left MLG extended and locked normally. It is likely that the stone had become lodged in the left MLG drag link and prevented the left MLG from locking.
Probable Cause(s): A stone becoming lodged in a left main landing gear (MLG) drag link, which resulted in the failure of the left MLG to extend and lock.
Note: The report republished here is from the NTSB and is printed verbatim and in its complete form.