Hawker Beechcraft Beech 99, Billings, Mont., May 19, 2007–The NTSB determined the probable cause of this landing accident to be the failure of the nosegear actuator and the nosegear collapse.
At 4 a.m., the Alpine Aviation aircraft was substantially damaged in night VMC when the gear collapsed during the landing roll. The ATP-rated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured.
Forty miles after takeoff, the pilot heard a “clunk” and the red unsafe gear light illuminated. He cycled the gear, but the unsafe light remained on. The pilot circled for
several hours to burn off fuel and to allow a mechanic to visually check the gear, which was hanging out of the wheel well at approximately a 45-degree angle.
Inspection showed that the nosegear actuator mount bracket area was bent and wrinkled. The actuator shaft had fractured. The Beech 99 requires overhaul or replacement of the shaft at 10,000 hours; this one had 231.4 hours. There were no preexisting fatigue signatures; all of the fractures were the result of overstress.