Final Report: Blown tire finding disputed

 - April 2, 2008, 11:26 AM

Piaggio Avanti, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., March 20, 2007–The NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident involving the Avantair Piaggio to be the first officer’s loss of directional control on landing, causing the left main gear to collapse. Contributing factors were the excessive use of brakes, which caused the left main tire to blow, and the captain’s inadequate supervision of the first officer. There was confusion in the cockpit about which runway or taxiway they were tracking to. The tower told them to do a 360 then cleared them for Runway 9R. The captain cautioned the copilot about excessive speed and altitude. The copilot said he was doing 129 kias; radar data showed the groundspeed as 138 knots.

After touchdown the airplane “was pulling” to the left and the crew’s efforts to correct were unsuccessful. The left wing dropped and the airplane veered to the right. The left main landing collapsed and the airplane slid to a halt. The left main tire had blown out and separated from its rim. The left main landing-gear retraction actuator was fractured on the upper pivot pin. Investigators believed that only a strong impact with abnormal side load would cause the pivot actuator area to fail, inducing excessive bending loads on the main landing-gear drag brace. This load condition could cause the tire to blow out. The captain later reported an abnormally large number of blown tires on this model; Piaggio attributed these blowouts to “pilot error.”