256J – Gear Failure

Incident Type

Minor Incident

Investigation Status

Member Reports Received

Membership Status


NTSB Number



Damage Photos


Tail No.


Pilot Certificate


Total Time

603 Hours

Time in Make/Model


Time in last 30 days


Approximate Damage

$ 15000

METAR Data (If Available)

best one I have KMYF 080053Z 26006KT 10SM CLR 23/16 A2996 RMK AO2 SLP140 T02330156, my notes have clear sky, winds 6 knot. On Foreflight scratchpad

Pilot Report

I have my aunt and uncle visiting from Hungary. Took them for a short flight, there were 3 of us on the plane. Here’s what happened Departure: Departure was by the book, run up normal and take off normal. My passengers had never been up in a small plane so I briefed them on the emergency procedures, IE, how to open both doors, how to open the seatbelts, that if something happened I would advise on procedures. On positive rate I raised the gear which promptly retracted without issue. I climbed to 3,500 and proceeded up the coast for sight seeing. I was on flight following for traffic advisories. Nearing Oceanside I made the turn to return back to San Diego. Received a Bravo clearance and entered over Mt Soledad following traffic vectors from ATC Approach and Arrival: Approach was typical, I descended to TPA +500 (I like staying a little higher in twins, extra margin of safety) and once stable I lowered the gear at <120 KIAS. I received two green lights, nose and main. On turning base I asked tower if they could verify, thinking this could be a bulb issue. I was single pilot and focused on flying the plane, figured tower would be able to visually check the gear. I did try and unscrew the knob to swap them out but didn't want to get behind the plane so abandoned that once tower said the gear was up. I cycled the gear multiple times while staying in the pattern. Cycled about 5 times. Each time coming up okay but only getting nose and right I resolved to do a manual extend, told tower of my intentions and was switched to 28R. Followed the checklist to the T but the left gear light would not come on. Tower again confirmed that the gear was not down. At some point during this exercise after I resolved to manually try the extend I declared. Even after the checklist I kept reading it to ensure that the switch was down (yes) and that the manual release value was turned counter clockwise. Unfortunately the light not come on. I briefed my passengers on the landing, to tighten seatbelts, and that we would land normally but since the left gear did not come down we would scrape the left wing and need to vacate readily, but to wait for my call (assuming I was conscious). Landing: Tower set me up for a long downwind and final. I flew a stabilized approach and was aiming for a touchdown just after the numbers. I offset slightly to the right thinking I would skid left. I worked to dissipate as much energy as possible by holding the nose off and focusing on a smooth touch down. As the right main gear touched down I pulled the mixtures both to idle cut off, killed the master and switched the mags off. I held right aileron and attempted to use the brakes to keep the airplane on the runway as much as possible. We came to a stop. I had my passengers vacate the aircraft first, and off the right wing to stay away from the damaged left wing, potential fuel spill, and hot engine. Aftermath: Photos seemed to show that the left gear had sort of started to come down, but was jammed in somehow. It extended maybe 3 inches? Maintenance was able to pull the gear down by hand and suggested that it had somehow pivoted forward in the well and got jammed up and in by the gear well flange Short video I got of the maintenance guy: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZpW8r14y6XxDVboL9 By the way, I have pictures but the site does not seem to accept them – maybe they are too big, just a few MB. I will email them to Shane Terpstra, Dave Eby, and Dave Gordon along with a copy of this As a sign off – I'm very sorry this happened. I take pride in my skills as a pilot and work to be a safe, proficient, and smart aviator. This accident bothers me as I hurt a plane, and I know it's a beautiful plane and a favorite of Dave's. Sorry. I followed the checklist and did everything by the book, doing what I could with my training and experience first to get the gear down, and ultimately to land the plane with minimal damage. I already spoke with NTSB, Elliot, told him what happened. He said a report was not necessary as damage was minimal. Let me know what is needed next of me, thank you

Passenger/Witness Report

Additional Information

ATC Audio

FlightAware Track

NTSB Report

Coming Soon

Eyewitness Video

Board Files (Password Required)

Additional Narrative


Reinstatement Recommendation - Member

Member Name:

Andrew Komaromi

Reinstatement Vote - Member

Reinstatement Recommendation - Instructor

Instructor Name:

Reinstatement Vote - Instructor

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