Sunday, March 14, 2021

Landing Gear Not Configured: Beech E-55 Baron, N15VK; accident occurred March 13, 2019 at Albert Whitted Airport ( KSPG), St Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Tampa, Florida

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: St. Petersburg, Florida 
Accident Number: ERA19TA129
Date & Time: March 13, 2019, 16:17 Local 
Registration: N15VK
Aircraft: Beech E55
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear not configured 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot stated that he became distracted and did not extend the landing gear before landing at the airport. The airplane slid on the runway, which resulted in substantial damage to the left wing's rear spar. Although the airplane was equipped with a gear warning horn, both the pilot and the passenger said the horn did not sound. The gear warning horn had been functionally checked during the last annual inspection and was also tested after the accident with no anomalies noted; thus, the investigation could not determine why the pilot and passenger were unable to hear the horn.

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, which resulted in a gear-up landing.


Aircraft Main landing gear - Not used/operated
Personnel issues Forgotten action/omission - Pilot
Aircraft Gear position and warning - Inoperative

Factual Information

On March 13, 2019, at 1617 eastern daylight time, a Beech E55, N15VK, sustained substantial damage during a gear-up landing at the Albert Whitted Airport (SPG), St. Petersburg, Florida. The commercial pilot and the passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that departed Lakeland Linder International Airport (LAL) Lakeland, Florida, at 1515.

The pilot stated that became distracted and did not extend the landing gear before landing. The airplane slid on the runway resulting in substantial damage to the left wing's rear spar. The propellers and flaps were also damaged.

According the airplane's Pilot Operating Handbook (POH), page 6-10, "If either or both throttles are retarded below an engine setting sufficient to sustain flight with the landing gear retracted, a warning horn will sound intermittently." The airplane was equipped with a gear warning horn; however, both the pilot and the passenger said the horn did not sound. The horn was functionally checked during the last annual inspection with no deficiencies noted. The horn was also tested after the accident and it worked as designed.

The pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and sea, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. He also held a certified flight instructor certificate with a rating for airplane single-engine land. The pilot's last Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) third-class medical certificate was issued on February 11, 2019. He reported a total of 3,706 hours, of which, 1,217 hours were in multi-engine aircraft.

Weather reported at SPG at 1653 included wind from 090° at 11 knots, visibility 10 miles, and clear skies.

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll Landing gear not configured (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor; Private
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: February 11, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: September 18, 2018
Flight Time: 3706 hours (Total, all aircraft), 590 hours (Total, this make and model), 3504 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 26 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 19 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech 
Registration: N15VK
Model/Series: E55 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1970
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: TE-805
Landing Gear Type: 
Retractable - Tricycle 
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: September 1, 2018 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5300 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3996.6 Hrs as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental Motors
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-520-C7B
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: SPG, 6 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 16:53 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 0°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Visibility 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 90°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lakeland, FL (LAL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: St. Petersburg, FL (SPG) 
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 15:15 Local
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Albert Whitted SPG 
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 6 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: 18
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2864 ft / 150 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: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 27,-82(est)


  1. There's an old saying, "There are Pilots that have landed gear-up, and there are Pilots that will land gear-up"!

    1. Actually there's three types...those that have landed gear up, those that will, and those that have and will again...

  2. I used to have a Mooney that the previous owners landed gear up twice.

  3. There sure appear to be a lot of gear up landings! Does anyone know if a study has been done to look at average engine time in gear up landings? Just curious ... I'm not making any reference to this particular accident.