The pilot of the Raytheon Beech 58 reported that during takeoff, two deer ran onto the runway as the airplane became airborne and that he heard and felt one of the deer hit the left main landing gear.
He diverted to an airport in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with an operating control tower, where he performed two passes in front of the tower, and was informed by tower personnel that it “appeared” that the left main landing gear was no longer “attached to the airplane.”
He decided the best course of action was to land with the landing gear retracted, and on short final he moved the mixture controls to idle cut off, feathered the propellers, and turned both fuel selectors off.
The airplane landed gear up and all persons on board evacuated immediately.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.
In an email exchange with the Director of Operations of the flight company, he reported that there were no reported mechanical anomalies with the airframe or engine prior to the deer impact.
The FAA Chart Supplement airport page for the departure airport in part states: “Deer and large flocks of geese on and invof [in the vicinity of] arpt.”
Probable cause: A collision with deer on the runway during the takeoff roll.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA074
This October 2016 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.