NTSB Identification: ERA10LA478
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 12, 2010 in Clearwater, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/23/2012
Aircraft: PIAGGIO P-180, registration: N590JL
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane had just undergone several inspections, including one that required operational testing of the landing gear and one, the replacement of an elevator flight control surface, that required a flight check. The pilot-in-command (PIC) later stated that he could not recall observing the position of the landing gear selector during his preflight inspection but reported that he would have checked it. He also reported that part of his preflight inspection included testing the landing gear indicator and warning system using the rotary test switch; no discrepancies were reported.

The flight crew started the engines and taxied the airplane onto the active runway with the flaps set to the mid position. After the takeoff power was applied and set, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) recorded the second pilot announce rotation at 80 knots. At the moment the CVR recorded the second pilot announce rotation, the CVR recorded a sound consistent with the hydraulic power pack motor operating for 2 seconds, beginning gear retraction. Following the sound of the motor, the CVR recorded a continuous low-pitch tone on the intercom for the next 14 seconds.

The PIC reported that he rotated at 100 knots and, with what he thought were the left and right main landing gears still on the ground, he thought he heard a sound consistent with a blown tire. Recalling that the left elevator had been replaced, he elected to abort the takeoff. He reported that, as he began to retard the throttles and set the nose landing gear onto the runway, he realized that the airplane had descended below the normal wheels-on-ground sight line and that the belly of the aircraft had begun to scrape the runway. The airplane then slid for 1,000 feet before coming to rest upright on the runway with each of the landing gear retracted.

After the accident, an individual who helped recover the airplane reported observing the landing gear selector in the up position. The landing gear was lowered and the airplane was then towed to the ramp. Postaccident testing revealed no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions of the landing gear or landing gear position and warning system. The investigation was not able to determine who placed the landing gear selector in the up position.

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

The flight crew did not ensure that the landing gear was down and that it indicated down through the takeoff sequence.

Full narrative available

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