Nose gear collapse video makes strong case for upgrade

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There have been a number of notable nose-over accidents on Van’s aircraft but an occurrence captured on video makes strong case for owners to retrofit new stronger components.

The ATSB is urging Van’s Aircraft owners to consider retrofitting a stronger nose gear and engine mount system on some models, after a number of notable nose-over accidents.

In January a Van’s RV-9A encountered a tailwind during landing on a private grass airstrip on French Island, Victoria, resulting in a hard landing. The aircraft bounced, and its nose gear then collapsed. The aircraft subsequently nosed over and came to rest inverted, resulting in serious injuries to both occupants and substantial damage to the aircraft.

The accident was similar to a few others, including one investigated by the ATSB in 2017. In that accident, the nose gear of a Van’s RV-6A collapsed after the aircraft bounced during a heavy landing on a dirt airstrip in north Queensland.

Due to these accidents, the ATSB is urging owners and operators of Van’s RV-6A, RV-7A and RV-9A aircraft to consider Van’s Aircraft Service Letter 19-04-30.

The letter details options and instructs a method for retrofitting older aircraft with a new style of engine mount and nose gear system, designed similarly to the engine mount and nose gear found on the newer RV-10A and RV-14A models.

‘While touching down on the nose landing gear should be avoided, the newer nose gear design has been developed with stronger shock absorption, which should reduce the likelihood of nose-over accidents,’ ATSB Manager, Transport Safety, Derek Hoffmeister said.

‘If you haven’t already, I would urge you to consider retrofitting the new nose gear and engine mount to your RV-6A, RV-7A, and RV-9A aircraft.’

Read the Van’s Aircraft Service Letter: www.vansaircraft.com/service-information-and-revisions/sl-19-04-30/ 

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