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23rd of October 2013, Blog #570

A 1990-built Beechcraft 1900C was operating a domestic scheduled flight on this day in 2013, between de airports of Anchorage Ted Stevens International Airport and Homer Airport in the state of Alaska, USA. On board a crew of two and 13 passengers for the short flight (~120 miles / 190 kilometres).

The aircraft shortly after the accident (© Shelley Gill)

The captain was the pilot flying while the co-pilot was the pilot monitoring the flight. After an uneventful flight, the aircraft was approaching Runway 22 at Homer Airport in good weather at approximately 15.30 lt (local time);

  • Conditions - Visual Flight Conditions

  • Wind - 70º at 5 knots

  • Temperature - 6 ºC

  • Dew Point - -3 ºC

  • Visibility - 10 Miles

  • Altimeter - 2.79 inHg

Runway 22 at Homer Airport is a 6701 feet long and 150 feet wide asphalt runway that does only offer a straight-in VFR approach with a 3º glide path indicated by a visual approach slope indicator system (VASI). After a stabilised approach with the aircraft properly configured the aircraft touched down normally. Shortly after the touchdown, the aircraft settled on its belly, the aircraft slid down the runway for a short distance before coming to a stop resting on the lower fuselage, wings, and engine nacelles. There were no injuries to the passengers and crew. Damage to the aircraft was substantial;

  • Structural damage to the lower fuselage - Fuselage Skin - Stringers - Frames

  • Damage to both propellers

  • Damage to the flaps

  • Damage to both engine nacelles

An inspection of the aircraft immediately after the accident revealed that the landing gear control lever was in UP Position. The flap position lever was in the LANDING Position. The copilot indicated that after landing, instead of selecting the flap position lever to the UP position he had inadvertently selected the landing gear control lever to the UP position.

The aircraft shortly after the accident © Shelley Gill)

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was alerted and an investigation was launched. Paty of the investigation was interviews with the crew as well as a technical test of the aircraft. Part of these tests were gear swings. The aircraft was placed on jacks and the operation of the gear was tested. This included an operational check of the safety switch on the right main landing gear and the ground mode override function of the safety switch. (A safety switch on the right main landing gear opens the control circuit when the landing gear strut is compressed to prevent the landing gear handle from being raised when the airplane is on the ground. The safety switch automatically disengages when the airplane is not on the ground and can be manually overridden by pressing a release button adjacent to the landing gear control handle.)

All tests indicated normal operation and no anomalies were noted.

The NTSB determined the probable cause(s) of the accident to be;

"The first officer inadvertently selected the landing gear handle up after touchdown during the landing rollout."

Contributing to the accident was the first officer's decision to reconfigure the airplane while still on the active runway.

Flaps and gear controls on the flight deck of a Beech 1900 (©Tango-Fox / text V2 - Aviation) The NTSB Aviation Accident Final Report does not clarify how or if the release button was pressed to allow the gear sector handle to be moved. The NTSB report, which was the source for this blog is available for the readers' reference by clicking on the .pdf file below;

B1900 Gear Up on landing 23-Oct-2013
Download PDF • 97KB

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