Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Beech 95-B55 Baron, N76CB: Incident occurred April 28, 2019 at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (KBRD), Crow Wing County, Minnesota

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Minneapolis, Minnesota

Gear up landing.

Soaring Soul LLC


Date: 28-APR-19
Time: 23:33:00Z
Regis#: N76CB
Aircraft Make: BEECH
Aircraft Model: 95 B55 (T42A)
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

Tom Koop, pictured here at a Brainerd School Board meeting in 2016, successfully landed a Beech 95-B55 Baron at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Sunday, April 28th, after experiencing mechanical problems. 

A Beech 95-B55 Baron piloted by Tom Koop circles the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Sunday, April 28th, while experiencing mechanical problems with its landing gear. Koop landed the plane safely without the gear. 

Despite the presence of the flashing lights of firetrucks, ambulances and several other emergency vehicles, a "nonevent" is how pilot Tom Koop described a gear-up landing Sunday, April 28, at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

"It's much more routine than what all the emergency vehicles would indicate," Koop said Monday, after Sunday's events forced him to land his Beech 95-B55 Baron on its belly when the landing gear malfunctioned.

"They're there in that one in a million chance that something would go wrong," he added.

Koop called for emergency services about 5 p.m. and circled the airport several times before completing the nontraditional landing. After speaking with mechanics, he learned there was a fractured piece of metal prohibiting the landing gear from operating correctly.

Though this predicament has never happened to Koop in his nearly 50 years of flying, his training prepared him for the task. The process for a gear-up landing, he said, does not differ much from a normal landing with the gear down. The plane just ends up landing on its belly, which Koop noted aircrafts are built to handle in a situation such as this one.

But because the propellers hit the ground, transferring the impact into the internal part of the plane's engines, Koop said, the internal parts of the plane need to be checked thoroughly and the engines may need replacing.

After the landing, Koop said a front-end loader lifted the plane up to get the wheels down and then towed it into the hangar.

"At first glance, if you looked at it in my hangar, you wouldn't think anything even happened," he said.

The plane however, will likely be out of commission for the next couple months.

Even though his landing was ultimately successful, Koop praised emergency responders for their quick response and a job well done.

"To non-aviation people, it's huge, so everybody gets kind of excited," he said of Sunday's events. "When you look back it was kind of unusual, but nonevent is the best way I can describe it."

Koop is a flight instructor who runs Soaring Soul, a business offering flight training in seaplanes, high performance/complex training and tailwheel endorsements for pilots. He also teaches fundamentals of aviation at Brainerd High School and said the details of Sunday's event proved a good lesson to share with his students and teach them about following their checklist and staying calm in an emergency.

Neither Koop nor his passenger were injured in Sunday's flight, which was not instructional but purely for pleasure, though Koop said the scenario would have served as a good in-flight training experience had a student been on board.

Original article ➤ https://www.brainerddispatch.com

A pilot and passenger safely walked off their plane after requesting emergency services about 5 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

The pilot of the Beech 95-B55 Baron, registered to Soaring Soul LLC of Brainerd, called for help after experiencing mechanical problems with its landing gear, Airport Director Steve Wright said in a phone interview after the incident.

After the plane circled the airport several times, however, it was determined the gear would not cooperate. Emergency responders stood by on the runway as a growing crowd of onlookers stopped along Highway 210 to observe, and airport staffers peered outside from Wings Cafe. According to the police scanner, officials requested the Minnesota State Patrol to help with traffic control on the state highway.

The plane eventually made a successful landing with its gear up, or a "belly landing." A gear-up landing, Wright explained, requires the same approach as that with the landing gear down, with the pilot completing his emergency checklist and then landing as softly as possible on the runway.

"That's exactly what the pilot did," Wright said, adding more risk is involved in a gear-up landing, though pilots train for those specific instances.

"Immediately their training followed through, and they were able to land successfully," he said.

Wright was at home when he got the call and said he was pleased with how well emergency crews responded.

"Our emergency responders reacted very well tonight," he said, noting airport personnel have practiced for emergencies such as this. "We were well prepared and responded very well, and I'm pleased with all of our partners here in Crow Wing County."

The Brainerd Fire Department, Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office, North Memorial Ambulance and airport fire services assisted on scene.

Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes said firefighters just went through their annual airport rescue firefighting training.

“It all focuses on the aircraft, which is a different approach and a different tactic than it would be fighting a house fire,” Holmes said by phone Sunday night. “I’m extremely proud of how smoothly everything went. … It worked real well with the airport rescue team out there.”

The registered plane owner Soaring Soul is a business offering flight training in seaplanes, high performance/complex training and tailwheel endorsements for pilots. According to the business' website, it is run by Tom Koop, a certified flight instructor who has flown in the Brainerd lakes area since 1971.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.pineandlakes.com

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