September 12, 2010, Clearwater, Fla., Piaggio P-180


The airplane came to rest with the landing gear retracted at about 1530 Eastern time. Visual conditions prevailed for the post-maintenance test flight. The airplane sustained substantial damage, but there were no injuries to the airline transport pilot or commercial copilot. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

As rotation was initiated at 100 knots, the airplane felt “a little soft” and the flight controls “felt funny.” The crew elected to abort the takeoff. The nose landing gear contacted the runway; the crew also heard a scraping sound from the aft fuselage contacting the runway. The airplane slid for about 1000 feet and smoke began filling the cockpit.

An individual who helped recover the airplane from the runway reported the landing gear selector was in the “up” position. Additionally, all landing gears were in their respective wheel wells, and the landing gear doors were closed. After the airplane was towed inside a hangar and secured, inspection revealed the right tire exhibited a flat spot on the inboard sidewall and held no pressure while the left tire also exhibited a flat spot on the inboard sidewall but still retained air. The following day, the airplane was raised on jacks and the landing gear was cycled several times using the normal system with no discrepancies noted.


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