According to the pilot, after receiving clearance to land at the airport in Clearwater, Florida, he completed the before landing checklist. He added that, during the touchdown, the Beech B55’s landing gear collapsed.
According to photographs provided by the airport authority, the airplane came to rest on its belly with the right main and nose landing gears collapsed and the left main landing gear partially extended.
Post-accident examination of the landing gear system revealed that the outer sidewall of each main landing gear tire exhibited scuff marks and that the main landing gear door was scraped.
Further examination revealed that both of the main landing gear extension rods were bent at the assembly actuator and that the nose landing gear extension/retraction rod was fractured.
This evidence is consistent with a landing attempt with the landing gear in transit rather than fully extended as reported by the pilot.
The recorded weather at the time of the accident indicated that thunderstorms existed near the airport, and photographs taken shortly after the accident show thunderstorms at the airport.
Therefore, it is possible that the pilot was distracted by the approaching thunderstorm, which led to his completing the before landing checklist too late during the approach for the landing gear to fully extend before landing.
Probable cause: The pilot’s delayed completion of the before landing checklist, including the extension of the landing gear, during an approaching thunderstorm, which resulted in a landing with the landing gear in transit and the subsequent collapse of the landing gear.
NTSB Identification: ERA15LA249
This June 2015 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.