The pilot reported that 30 minutes after departure at 6,000 feet mean sea level, the Beech 35’s door opened in flight. He stated that the temperature dropped, papers went flying about the cabin, and the noise was “overwhelming.”
The passenger tried to hold the door shut, but could not secured it. The pilot diverted to an airport near Effingham, Ill., for landing. He then “simply forgot to put the gear down.”
The airplane touched down and skidded on its belly, resulting in substantial damage to the airplane’s stringers, formers, and main spar carry through.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to lower the landing gear.
NTSB Identification: CEN15CA011
This October 2014 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.