The pilot of the retractable landing gear-equipped Beech 36 failed to extend the landing gear and the airplane landed at the airport in Douglas, Georgia, with the landing gear retracted.
The airplane skid off the runway to the right and came to rest in the grass adjacent to the runway, sustaining substantial damage to the fuselage.
The owner of the airplane reported that the pilot had not been authorized to fly the airplane the day of the accident.
Local law enforcement officers conducted a field sobriety test and concluded that the pilot was impaired to the point that he was unsafe to operate an airplane. Subsequently, he was arrested for operating an aircraft while under the influence.
The pilot reported that there were no pre-accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to extend the landing gear due to intoxication during an unauthorized flight.
This October 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.
The old, pocket sized AIR FACTS magazine did a bunch of tests on pilot’s of many experience levels ( with FAA approval )
As I recall one airline pilot kept calling the Cessna American flight 257😛😩
Some could fly OK until an emergency.
It’s worth taking a flight as a passenger after consuming alcohol and experiencing the affects.
At altitude (say, cabin altitude of 7,000′ to 10,000′) one drink of alcohol is equivalent to two drinks on the ground.
I’ve done this (as a passenger) and my coordination was fuzzy and I was easily confused. I listened to ATC clearances and instantly forgot them.
It’s worth the experiment – give it a try sometime.
That’s one gear up for intoxicated vs how many for not intoxicated?….well, a whole lot more…lol
Seriously however, the sobriety test is woefully inadequate to determine someone’s capability, just as .08 is the rather hypothetical number for driving 75 mph within feet of other traffic but .02(I think) is max for flying all by yourself. It’s like taking a beta blocker to retard heart muscle thickening and being dinged for hypertension by a medical examiner because that’s the limit of their knowledge…and reasoning is also outside their parameters.
Certainly drinking and piloting should be avoided.
I don’t know whether the field sobriety test is adequate or not, but it would be a moot point if pilots just adhered to the rules about not drinking before piloting. That’s eight hours from bottle to throttle, or under 0.04. For an average size male, the alcohol in a couple of glasses of wine should be metabolized by the liver within that eight hour standard, but a massively drunk person might take several more hours to get under 0.04 (and will probably be ill and still not be safe).
Average. Know a few people that are absolutely shot after 4 oz of wine, and some some that are quite normal after a six pack in an hour. Like G’s, it’s a tolerance matter, just as some people live and work at 14,000 feet without an oxygen tank while other can’t handle 8,000.
Certainly one should observe the rules.
Tom Bishop says
As a wise person once said “stupid is as stupid does” don’t be stupid.
And every insurance policy for all aircraft just went up.
Darwin at work…
JimH in CA says
Maybe not Darwin, but the FAA will certainly suspend or possibly, revoke all his certificates.
Unfortunately, people like this would not let a suspended certificate keep them on the ground.
José Serra says
Really righty, DM
Tom Bishop says
But jail will!