Date & Time: Aug 1, 1997 at 1500 LT
Santa Ana - Santa Ana
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Aircraft flight hours:
After touching down to scoop another load of water, the pilot added power and the aircraft pitched forward. The pilot heard a pop and felt a sudden decelerative force. When the nose began to bowsuck, he applied more back pressure but the aircraft did not respond. The floor split open and water began rushing into the cockpit. The left nose gear door locking pin was found separated from its hydraulic actuator. It displayed a bend that corresponded to its retracted position in the pin guide. The deformation prevented investigators from reinserting the damaged pin back through the guide. The left mycarta block remained attached to the door and did not exhibit any damage.
The implosion of the unlocked left nose gear door which resulted in the hydraulic disintegration of the forward fuselage. The cause of the locking pin actuator malfunction was not determined.