The Nose Landing Gear Began To Indicate Down And Locked, And Then Unsafe

Location: Oshkosh, WI Accident Number: CEN21LA147
Date & Time: February 27, 2021, 10:31 Local Registration: N1460P
Aircraft: Piper PA-23 Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Instructional

On February 27, 2021, about 1031 central standard time, a Piper PA-23 airplane, N1460P, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The pilot and flight instructor were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

The flight instructor reported the routine training flight included airwork which involved numerous landing gear extension/retraction cycles. During the final 45 minutes of the flight, the nose landing gear began to indicate down and locked, and then unsafe. Several touch-and-go landings were performed during which he attempted to “lightly move” the nose wheel into the down and locked position. Contact with the runway pavement was firm enough to indicate that the nose landing gear was down and locked.

After touching down, the airplane began yawing to the right with an “unusual noise.” The application of left brake prevented the airplane from leaving the runway pavement; however, the nose landing gear collapsed shortly afterward. The airplane traveled an additional 100 to 200 ft. resting on the nose before coming to a stop on the runway.

Airframe damage included multiple fuselage bulkheads, skin panels and the nose wheel well structure. An examination of the landing gear is planned.