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Aircraft’s landing gear collapsed before January crash at North Las Vegas Airport

A main landing gear collapsed on Norman B. Ivans’ twin-engine Piper Aerostar airplane as he was touching down under supervision of a flight instructor Jan. 2 at the North Las Vegas Airport, a preliminary report posted Monday on the National Transportation Safety Board’s website said.

“During landing, a main landing gear collapsed, and the airplane veered off the runway into the infield. The pilot and (flight instructor) egressed, and then the airplane caught fire,” investigators said in the one-page report.

The report, dated Thursday, doesn’t give a probable cause for the crash or state why the landing gear failed. Final aircraft accident investigation reports can take up to a year or more to complete, depending on the lead investigator’s workload.

It was the second time in less than a year that Ivans, 72, crash-landed an Aerostar at the same airport.

He was flying a different twin-engine Piper Aerostar when it crash-landed at North Las Vegas on Jan. 5, 2012 – 363 days from one crash to the next.

In an interview after the most recent crash landing, Ivans confirmed he was at the controls with flight instructor Gary A. Marsh on board. After the Aerostar skidded off the runway, the two managed to escape without injury before flames engulfed the cabin of the $425,000 aircraft.

Ivans, who said he has been flying “close to 40 years,” attributed the Jan. 2 crash to “a mechanical failure.” He declined to comment further about that, saying he is “involved with litigation.”

According to the preliminary report, Ivans didn’t file a flight plan when he left the North Las Vegas Airport on Jan. 2.

“The pilot was practicing simulated single-engine landings with the CFI (certified flight instructor) on board,” the report reads.

Federal Aviation Administration records show Ivans held a private pilot certificate issued in 2006 for single- and multiengine aircraft over land, with required corrective lenses.

Ivans has said he kept his private pilot’s license after last year’s crash, but it was restricted to student pilot privileges, meaning he isn’t allowed to carry passengers other than a certified flight instructor.

But an FAA spokesman said that Ivans physically turned in his private pilot certificate to the Las Vegas Flight Standards Office and that he was issued a temporary, student certificate.

Contact reporter Keith Rogers at krogers@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0308.

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