Wrong lever results in bad landing

Aircraft: Beech Baron. Injuries: None. Location: Atlanta, Ga. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was practicing touch-and-go landings. After touchdown, he intended to retract the flaps, but inadvertently selected the landing gear control lever.

The landing gear partially retracted, and the plane settled onto the runway, resulting in substantial damage to a nose section bulkhead.

Probable cause: The pilot’s inadvertent retraction of the landing gear during the landing.

NTSB Identification: ERA12CA424

This July 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.


  1. CJ Gerker says

    Well, that switch location bit yet another victim. I will bet this victim was flying other twins like CESSNA’s. Landing gear & flap switches are on opposite side of pedestal. Just like the Bonanza I once owned. Got caught in a simulator with a King Air, done the same.

  2. Tom says

    The switch for the gear is round,
    And the one for the flaps is flat,
    If you put the wrong one down,
    It’s not much of a problem at that.

    But if you put the wrong one up,
    At a time while still on the ground,
    And the squat switch has gone kaput,
    There will be quite a large ugly sound.

  3. BJS says

    The Baron is supposed to have a fail safe switch to prevent gear retraction after touchdown so that must have been faulty on this aircraft?

    • Greg W says

      The safety switch,aka. “squat switch” is opened by the landing gear when it is compressed. If the aircraft is rolling fast and the gear legs are extended at all the switch will be closed allowing landing gear operation. As this was a “touch and go” the aircraft was likly at high speed and “light” on it’s wheels when the gear up was selected.

  4. john says

    Doing touch and goes and having this kind of result is not hard to do. I believe this is why the FAA nite landing requirement is 3 full landings to a complete stop is required to remain current. As I descend after a cross country I use this time to think through the landing steps and perform the GUMPS check. I have been flying over 40 years and remember reading something early in this hobby that something like 90% of all accidents are within 5 miles of the airport. At that moment I decided then and there that after departure I would get away from the airport as quick as I could and stay away until I had to come back!

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