Sunday, May 10, 2020

System/Component Malfunction/Failure (Non-Power): Beech C24R, N20135; accident occurred May 22, 2016 in Marine City, St. Clair County, Michigan

Accident Site Overview 

Wreckage Overview (Forward Left Side) 

Wreckage Overview (Right Side)

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Belleville, Michigan

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Marine City, MI
Accident Number: CEN16LA190
Date & Time: 05/22/2016, 1600 EDT
Registration: N20135
Aircraft:BEECH C24R 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Sys/Comp malf/fail (non-power)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On May 22, 2016, about 1600 eastern daylight time, a Beech C24R airplane, N20135, was substantially damaged while landing at Marine City Airport (76G), near Marine City, Michigan. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that after takeoff he did not initially observe an indication that the right main landing gear had retracted properly. He stated that before he could recycle the landing gear he felt a "thump" and the right main landing gear position indicator light turned off (indicating a fully retracted landing gear). Believing the issue had resolved itself, he continued to his planned destination. The pilot reported that while on landing approach at 76G, he selected the landing gear to extend; however, the indicator light for the right main landing gear did not illuminate (indicating an unsafe gear position). He advanced engine power and conducted a go-around. His initial thought was that there was a faulty position switch in the landing gear system. He subsequently established that the right main landing gear was not properly extended when he attempted another landing and the right wing dropped after the left main landing gear contacted the runway. He aborted the landing and attempted to cycle the landing gear multiple times while he orbited the airport; however, he never received a safe indication for the right main landing gear. He then attempted the emergency landing gear extension procedure, but still did not observe a safe landing gear indication. Ultimately, he decided to land with the right main landing gear retracted. The pilot intentionally landed along the right edge of the runway to allow the right wing to drop onto the grass alongside the runway. Upon landing, the right wing contacted the ground and the airplane swerved off the right side of the runway into a marshy grass area.

The airplane was examined onsite by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. The right wing and the right side of the stabilator were substantially damaged when they collided with several runway lights during the landing. Additionally, the right main fuel tank ruptured when the right wing collided with a runway edge light post. The right main landing gear was observed retracted in the wheel well at the accident site. Further examination established that the right main landing gear tire was jammed against the aft wheel well fairing, which prevented the landing gear tire from extending out of the wheel well. The landing gear fully extended after an aviation mechanic used a crowbar to dislodge the tire from the aft wheel well fairing.

Several FAA inspectors reexamined the airplane after it was recovered to a hangar. While on jack stands, the right main landing gear tire jammed against the aft wheel well fairing during landing gear retraction and extension. The airplane was equipped with Condor part number (p/n) 26295-B1, 6.00-6 x 17.50 (8 ply) main landing gear tires. The airframe manufacturer's illustrated part catalog specified a 6.00-6 x 17.50 (4 ply) main landing gear tire. Although the airplane was equipped with 8 ply tire treads, instead of the manufacturer-specified 4 ply tire treads, the left main landing gear extended and retracted without binding on the aft wheel fairing. The main landing gear was cycled again after the main tires were swapped from side to side to determine if the right tire was the source of the anomaly. The right tire retracted and extended normally when it was installed on the left main landing gear; however, the left tire bound on the aft wheel well fairing when it was installed on the right main landing gear. Measurements of the right main landing gear shock disks were within the airframe manufacturer's specifications. The FAA inspectors then loosened the right main landing gear shock disc nut about 1 turn to move the gear yoke forward about ½" forward in the gear well, which allowed the right main landing gear to extend and retract without contacting the aft wheel well fairing.

The pilot was re-interviewed by FAA inspectors after their examination of the landing gear retraction system. The FAA inspectors told the pilot that they had found the right main landing gear to be misaligned, which resulted in the tire contacting the aft wheel well fairing. The pilot then told the FAA inspectors that the airplane had been involved in a recent hard landing, after which the right-side cabin door began to scrape the top of the right wing when it was opened and closed.

A review of the airframe maintenance logbook revealed that the airplane had undergone an annual inspection on August 5, 2015, at 5,242.32 total airframe hours. According to the logbook entry, no anomalies were observed with the extension or retraction of the main landing gear during the last annual inspection. There were no additional maintenance logbook entries following the last annual inspection. At the time of the accident, the airplane had accumulated 94.2 hours since the last annual inspection. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land; Single-engine Sea
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/28/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/07/2015
Flight Time: (Estimated) 950 hours (Total, all aircraft), 400 hours (Total, this make and model), 950 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 47 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make:BEECH
Registration: N20135
Model/Series: C24R
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1978
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: MC-604
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/05/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2750 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 94 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5336.54 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-A1B6
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 200 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MTC, 579 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1558 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 239°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 23000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:10° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C / 4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Kokomo, IN (OKK)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Marine City, MI (76G)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1400 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Marine City Airport (76G)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 613 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 04
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3100 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 42.721389, -82.596389 (est)


  1. the airplane had been involved in a recent hard landing, after which the right-side cabin door began to scrape the top of the right wing when it was opened and closed.......if that does not tell you there is structural damage somewhere and prompt a thorough inspection by a licensed mechanic i say you have no place in aviation.

  2. A chain of poor decisions here. Not having gear swing tests and inspection done after a hard landing that caused noticeable misalignment, then not just landing in the grass gear up. Much better to land gear up on grass than with asymmetrical gear in the grass, better likelihood of maintaining directional control and less likely to flip over.

  3. He's fortunate he made it back to earth.

    1. Everyone's going to make it back to Earth...circumstances of their arrival can vary, however...