February 13, 2006, Rancho Murieta, Calif. / Piper PA-24-260 Comanche


The airplane landed short of the runway at 1901 Pacific time, sustaining substantial damage. The Private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight, which originated from Colorado Springs, Colo. After takeoff, the pilot was unable to retract the landing gear. He diverted to Delta, Colo., to have the landing gear inspected. No mechanical anomalies were noted. The pilot refueled and continued to Rancho Murieta. When he arrived at Rancho Murieta, he lowered the landing gear handle but did not receive a down and locked indication inside the cockpit. He tried to manually lower the landing gear, but it did not fully extend. After flying around to troubleshoot the landing gear, the airplane was getting low on fuel and the sun had set. The pilot decided to make a precautionary landing, which occurred short of the runway. The main landing gear collapsed, and the nose landing gear was sheared off the landing gear strut.


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