The pilot of the Beech 55 reported that, shortly after landing at the airport in Sebring, Florida, the passenger, without his permission or guidance, retracted the landing gear.
Once the landing gear retracted, the plane hit the runway and slid about 600 feet before coming to rest on the runway.
The passenger, who was a pilot, reported that, without the pilot’s guidance, he mistakenly raised the gear handle, then quickly lowered it again, thinking it was the flap handle. He said he was attempting to assist the pilot.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the center wing spar.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The passenger’s inadvertent retraction of the landing gear during the landing roll without being instructed to do so by the pilot.
This September 2019 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.