Thursday, January 19, 2017

Beech 99A Airliner, Alpine Aviation Inc., dba Alpine Air, N326CA: Accident occurred January 19, 2017 at Billings Logan International Airport (KBIL), Billings, Yellowstone County, Montana

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Alpine Aviation Inc., dba Alpine Air:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: SALT LAKE CITY

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA056
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Thursday, January 19, 2017 in Billings, MT
Aircraft: BEECH 99, registration: N326CA
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On January 19, 2017 about 1144 mountain standard time (mst), a Beech 99, N326CA, experienced a landing gear collapse while landing at the Billings Logan International Airport, Billings, Montana. The airplane was registered to and operated by Alpine Aviation Inc., d.b.a. Alpine Air, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The cargo transport flight departed from Dawson Community Airport, Glendive, Montana about 0945 mst with a planned destination of Sidney-Richland Municipal Airport, Sidney, Montana. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed, but was not activated.

The pilot reported that after departure, he retracted the landing gear and heard a "thud" sound. The landing gear "unsafe" light was illuminated and the left landing gear light remained illuminated green, an indication that it was still extended despite the landing gear handle being in the retracted position. When reaching his initial destination of Sidney, the pilot performed a low pass over the runway to enable maintenance personnel on the ground do a visual assessment. A mechanic stated that the nose gear was extended. The pilot diverted to Billings and the air traffic control personnel confirmed observing the nose gear extended at a 45-degree angle.

The pilot further stated that he aligned with runway 28R and just prior to touch down, he feathered the propellers and decreased the airspeed. During touchdown, the right gear collapsed and the airplane came to rest on the centerline. As a result of the impact, the right aileron and right wing spar sustained damage.

A cargo airplane was forced into an emergency landing at Billings Logan International Airport after its landing gear malfunctioned Thursday.

The Beechcraft 99 owned by Alpine Air, a company that hauls mail and freight, took off from Billings a few hours earlier. The pilot was unable to retract the landing gear after takeoff. The plane would have immediately landed, but the landing gear wouldn’t fully lower either, said Kevin Ploehn, director of aviation and transit.

The pilot remained in the air for a few hours trying to fix the issue. When the problem could not be resolved in flight, the pilot declared an emergency and returned to Billings, Ploehn said.

The aircraft performed a flyby before landing so airport personnel could determine if the landing gear was deployed. Often fuses and indicator lights fail so pilots cannot determine if they’re prepared to land. In this case observers found the front landing gear was only partially deployed and would likely collapse upon landing.

Aircraft rescue firefighters staged at the end of the runway in preparation for the emergency landing. As the airplane made its final approach, the pilot killed the engines and the Alpine Air Beechcraft touched down at about 11:45 a.m. The front and right rear landing gear failed, causing the right wing to drag on the tarmac.

Ploehn said the pilot did an outstanding job landing the airplane under difficult circumstances. He was the only occupant of the aircraft and was not injured. Emergency crews were still working about an hour later to clear the runway.


A small aircraft made an emergency landing at Billings Logan International Airport just before noon Thursday.

Shane Ketterling, Assistant Director of Aviation & Transit tells KULR-8 that the pilot reported that his nose gear was not locking into place while on approach to Sidney.

The pilot decided to reroute back to Billings for an emergency landing because the Billings Logan International Airport has better resources to assist in an emergency.

The plane circled the airport before making the emergency landing.

The single passenger aircraft was carrying mail  The pilot walked away from the aircraft and is fine.

The emergency landing forced short delays for other incoming and outgoing flights.

The aircraft operates through Alpine Aviation which is based is Billings.

According to records obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration the plane is a Beech 99A fixed wing multi-engine aircraft.

A certificate on record with the FAA was filed on April 4th, 2004 and is current through February 29th, 2020.


BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A small airplane made an emergency landing at Billings Logan International Airport after the landing gear malfunctioned.

The twin-engine plane had taken off from Billings with a load of mail but the plane’s landing gear was not locking into place when the plane approached Sidney.

Airport spokesman Shane Ketterling says the pilot decided to return to Billings for an emergency landing because the airport there has better resources to deal with an emergency.

The landing gear was partially deployed and it collapsed when the plane touched down at about 11:45 a.m. Thursday. The right wing dragged on the tarmac. The pilot was the only person on the plane and he was not injured.


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