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Date:Sunday 1 April 1990
Type:Armstrong Whitworth AW-650 Argosy 222
Operator:SAFE Air
Registration: ZK-SAF
MSN: 6801
First flight: 1965-02-10 (25 years 2 months)
Total airframe hrs:47035
Engines: 4 Rolls-Royce Dart 532-1
Crew:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location:Blenheim-Woodbourne Airport (BHE) (   New Zealand)
Phase: Landing (LDG)
Departure airport:Christchurch International Airport (CHC/NZCH), New Zealand
Destination airport:Wellington International Airport (WLG/NZWN), New Zealand
The crew of the Argosy cargo plane aborted the approach to their destination of Wellington Airport because the left hand undercarriage failed to lock down.
It was decided to divert to Blenheim-Woodbourne Airport (BHE) where the SAFE Air engineering base was located.
During landing rollout the left main undercarriage collapsed and the airplane veered off the side of runway 25.

Probable Cause:

The failure of the left main undercarriage to fully extend was caused by the seizure of the piston rod within the undercarriage jack assembly. The piston rod and the spring housing through which it passed had become scored, eventually resulting in the seizure. The piston rod had been installed, new, in the jack assembly some seven months earlier and had completed 787 landings. Further investigation found that the synthetic wiper ring had been installed incorrectly and would allow foreign material to find its way into the spring housing when the undercarriage was retracted. Additionally, hydraulic components on the undercarriage may have become contaminated during cleaning in an inadequately filtered cleaning booth, which was also used for general cleaning involving the use of abrasive pads.

Landing gear collapse
Runway excursion

» Kiwi Aircraft Images: Armstrong-Whitworth AW650 Argosy


photo of Armstrong-Whitworth-AW-650-Argosy-222-EI-AVJ
accident date: 01-04-1990
type: Armstrong Whitworth AW-650 Argosy 222
registration: EI-AVJ

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Christchurch International Airport to Wellington International Airport as the crow flies is 304 km (190 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Excursions (GAPPRE): recommendations and guidance material to prevent runway excursions

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