Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Landing Gear Not Configured: Beech 95-B55 (T42A) Baron, N1621W; accident occurred August 21, 2020 at Athens Municipal Airport (F44), Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; North Texas

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Athens, Texas
Accident Number: CEN20CA363
Date & Time: August 21, 2020, 19:45 Local
Registration: N1621W
Aircraft: Beech 55 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear not configured 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The airline transport pilot and private pilot rated passenger departed on a local, personal flight. The pilot reported that he failed to extend the landing gear before landing. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage ribs and stringers. He said that the landing gear warning did not sound through the headsets, so the sound was faint and that the gear warning sounded like the stall warning, which was “confusing.” The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s failure to extend the landing gear during the approach and landing.


Personnel issues Use of equip/system - Pilot
Aircraft Gear extension and retract sys - Not used/operated

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-flare/touchdown Landing gear not configured (Defining event)
Landing Abnormal runway contact

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport
Age: 66,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider 
Restraint Used: Lap only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane multi-engine; Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: February 11, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: February 11, 2020
Flight Time: (Estimated) 25400 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0.8 hours (Total, this make and model), 18750 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 27 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Pilot-rated passenger Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 59,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Airship
Restraint Used: Lap only
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane multi-engine 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Unknown 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: April 23, 2020
Flight Time: (Estimated) 297 hours (Total, all aircraft), 25 hours (Total, this make and model), 224 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 44 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 19 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N1621W
Model/Series: 55 95B55 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1972 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: TC-1455
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle 
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: November 15, 2019 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6000 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed Engine Model/Series: IO-470
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 285 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: F44,441 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 19:35 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 150°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Athens, TX
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Destination: Athens, TX
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: 

Airport Information

Airport: Athens Municipal Airport F44
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 444 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3988 ft / 60 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 32.199375,-95.850013(est)


  1. must not have had a checklist in the aircraft?

  2. I wonder how much time the engines had .... were they near overhaul time?

  3. Jeeze guess he did NOT want to take the blame of this screw up!

  4. Here we go again. A senior aged high time pilot (in this case an ATP rated instructor) blames the aircraft for his failure to follow Flying 101 Retractable procedure. You can't make it up folks. You just can't. One day my head is going to fall off my shoulders from so much shaking reading KR reports about completely idiotic human failures - and the gall of the offenders blaming everything else but themselves.

  5. A 25000 hr ATP blaming the airplane because he forgot to lower the gear. I'm betting he is a retired United captain.

  6. And another.... Why is the pilot narration always a paragraph of excuses. The reality is: A complacent pilot forgot to drop the gear.
    It’s not about the horn, the throttle, the flaps.
    It’s about consistency in the cockpit!
    Each Pilot should step back and read their narrative and see how childish it sounds blaming everything but themselves. Grow up Captain- you forgot to drop the gear. End of story!

  7. The Form 6120 shows that the accident pilot who was in the right seat has .8 hours total time in the accident aircraft, so he was zero time when that flight began.

    Owner had 25 hours in type, was left seat. Neither used checklist or noticed gear light status. The real kick in the teeth is that the engines had only 300 hours total time before pranging concrete at idle.

    It is remarkable in this time of electronic gadgetry that a standard belly mount ground proximity sensing device and STC to install does not exist for retract aircraft. New cars have proximity sensing for auto braking, but nothing available in the marketplace to upgrade expensive birds.

    1. Yeah I don't get it either. I guess the insurance companies haven't thought of lobbying the "correct" politicians and tech companies who could do this. So many good aircraft get bent like this from gear up landings (and flipped amphibians on water landing forgetting to raise the gear after takeoff from land). And the fact the Continental I0-470s only had 300 hours since overhaul is just sickening.

  8. The gentleman is lucky that, because of the pandemic and massive cuts and cutbacks in resources (read: People) with NTSB, FAA, and law enforcement agency priorities, they may not properly move and study this aircraft, not that they might in good times either considering everyone survived. If they investigated this crash they'd find fairly quickly that the landing gear was fully operational and in working order the entire time. Sadly also in working order if not working overtime? The pilot's ego and sense of pride. He didn't put the gear down on a plane he apparently flew for the first time. Even old-timers make rookie mistakes, happens to the best of us. We can laugh it off in the simulators (speaking from embarrassing experience) but in the real-world the better option is just fessing up to the error so future pilots can learn rather than pull the belt buckle in one loop and brag about how thin you are.