NTSB Identification: SEA00LA066.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 08, 2000 in SEATTLE, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/22/2001
Aircraft: Beech A200, registration: N258AG
Injuries: 6 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that very shortly after takeoff, both DC generator lights illuminated. He stated he tried to reset the generators but was unsuccessful. The aircraft experienced a total electrical failure shortly thereafter. The pilot returned to the departure airport, manually lowering the gear (by pumping a handle that drives a mechanical extension mechanism) since normal electrical gear extension was not available. The pilot stated he pumped the manual extension handle until he felt a drop in resistance, at which point he assumed the gear was down-and-locked. The airplane's left main landing gear collapsed during landing. The pilot, who had 26 total hours in make and model of which 11 was as pilot-in-command, could not remember placing the engine ignition/start switches from ON to OFF after starting the engines as specified by the checklist. Each of the airplane's engines is equipped with a DC electric starter/generator; with the engine ignition/start switches in the ON position, these devices function as starter motors driven by ground power or the aircraft battery. In post-accident examinations, the battery was found discharged but once it was recharged and reinstalled in the aircraft, investigators were able to start one of the aircraft's engines on battery power and bring a generator on line with no electrical power distribution anomalies noted. The GENERATOR INOPERATIVE emergency procedure in the aircraft's FAA-approved Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) does not contain a step for checking the engine ignition/start switches in the OFF position prior to attempting generator reset, and the AFM LANDING GEAR MANUAL EXTENSION procedure does not contain information on how long to pump the manual extension handle for a down-and-locked condition in the event the green GEAR DOWN lights do not illuminate (as in an electrical failure condition.)

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to properly follow pre-takeoff checklists (resulting in the engine starters remaining engaged after engine start, generators not being activated, discharge of the aircraft battery and consequent total electrical failure during flight with associated disabling of normal landing gear extension capability), and his subsequent failure to properly perform a manual landing gear extension resulting in a landing with the gear not down-and-locked. Factors included: the pilot's lack of experience in type, steps not listed in the manufacturer's Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) GENERATOR INOPERATIVE procedure, conditions not listed in the manufacturer's AFM MANUAL LANDING GEAR EXTENSION procedure; and the FAA's inadequate approval of both of these procedures.

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