Piedmont DH8A at Newark on May 18th 2013, intentional belly landing

Last Update: September 25, 2020 / 13:57:30 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
May 18, 2013

Classification
Accident

Flight number
US-4560

Aircraft Registration
N934HA

ICAO Type Designator
DH8A

Airport ICAO Code
KEWR

A Piedmont Airlines de Havilland Dash 8-100 on behalf of US Airways, registration N934HA performing flight US-4560 (dep May 17th) from Philadelphia,PA to Newark,NJ (USA) with 31 passengers and 3 crew, was on approach to Newark when the crew reported they had a left hand main gear unsafe indication and requested a low approach to have the gear inspected from the ground. The aircraft was cleared for a low approach to runway 04L, offset left of the runway, tower asked the landing lights to be turned off to get a better sight of the aircraft. Tower subsequently reported the left hand main gear appeared only half way out of the wheel well. The aircraft climbed back to 3000 feet and entered a holding west of the aerodrome for about 90 minutes to work the checklists and burn off fuel. The aircraft positioned for an approach to runway 04L and landed with all gear up. The aircraft slid on its belly to a safe stop on the runway, the occupants evacuated through the left hand main door. No injuries occurred.

The airport was closed temporarily following the landing.

US Airways reported the aircraft landed with its landing gear retracted after a gear indication could not be resolved following multiple attempts to lower the gear. The aircraft landed safely on its belly, no injuries occurred. The passengers were evacuated and bussed to the terminal.

On Jul 5th 2013 the NTSB reported that the left main gear failed to lower and lock, the crew applied all applicable checklist procedures and emergency maneouvers however to no avail. The crew decided to land the aircraft with all gear retracted. No injuries occurred during the intentional belly landing, the aircraft sustained substantial damage. An investigation into the occurrence rated an accident has been opened.

On Sep 25th 2020 the NTSB released their final report concluding the probable cause of the accident was:

the frozen left main landing gear (MLG) uplock roller due to lack of lubrication and the uplock latch that had worn beyond acceptable tolerances, which prevented the flight crew from extending the left MLG using the alternate extension system. Contributing to the accident were the operator's improper maintenance practices, which did not detect the lubrication issue with the roller and the wear of the latch.

The NTSB summarized:

While on an instrument approach to the airport, when the flight crew attempted to lower the landing gear, they received an unsafe indication on the left main landing gear (MLG). They conducted a fly by of the airport control tower, and the controller verified that the left MLG was only partially extended. The flight crew performed the alternate landing gear extension procedure and worked with company maintenance to troubleshoot the failure, however, the left MLG would not extend after multiple attempts. Although the first officer indicated that he became confused after the sixth step of the alternate landing gear extension procedure, post accident testing determined that this did not have any effect on the outcome Because the left MLG would not extend, the captain elected to conduct the landing with all gear retracted to minimize the likelihood of a loss of directional control after touchdown. All passengers and crew successfully evacuated after the airplane came to a rest on the runway.

Postaccident testing confirmed that the left MLG would not deploy using the normal or alternate gear extension systems. Examination of the landing gear components found that the left MLG uplock roller was seized and the groove on the left uplock latch was out of tolerance. The seized uplock roller and worn latch caused the forces to exceed the crews capability to release the landing gear by use of the alternate gear extension system.

Examination of the operators maintenance records indicated that the uplock rollers were to be inspected every 220 flight hours and that they were to be lubricated only on condition. The accident airplanes left MLG uplock was inspected 11 times in year prior to the accident. In all instances, the inspection paperwork indicated that the roller rotated freely and did not require lubrication for the last. Further, the uplock latches were to be visually inspected every 440 flight hours. The latches were not required to be measured and were replaced only on condition. The last measurement of the left MLG latch on the accident airplane occurred 10 years prior to the accident. After the accident, the operator modified the maintenance procedures to include regular lubrication of the rollers and to measure the wear of the uplock latch.



Metars:
EWR 180651Z 26003KT 10SM FEW150 BKN230 16/07 A3021 RMK AO2 SLP229 T01610072
KEWR 180551Z 00000KT 10SM FEW150 BKN250 16/07 A3020 RMK AO2 SLP226 T01560067 10228 20144 50005
KEWR 180521Z 23004KT 10SM FEW150 BKN250 16/07 A3021 RMK AO2
KEWR 180451Z 19003KT 10SM FEW150 SCT250 16/07 A3020 RMK AO2 SLP227 T01610072 402390156
KEWR 180351Z 14003KT 10SM FEW150 BKN250 18/06 A3020 RMK AO2 SLP226 T01780061
KEWR 180251Z 07003KT 10SM FEW200 SCT250 19/05 A3019 RMK AO2 SLP221 T01940050 51024
KEWR 180151Z 06008KT 10SM FEW200 SCT250 20/06 A3017 RMK AO2 SLP217 T02000056
KEWR 180051Z 05004KT 10SM FEW200 BKN260 20/06 A3014 RMK AO2 SLP207 T02000056
Incident Facts

Date of incident
May 18, 2013

Classification
Accident

Flight number
US-4560

Aircraft Registration
N934HA

ICAO Type Designator
DH8A

Airport ICAO Code
KEWR

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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