CHI98LA051
CHI98LA051

On November 25, 1997, at 1309 central standard time (cst), a Beech E-55, N3914A, operated by a commercial pilot collided with a parked airplane following a loss of control while landing on runway 26 (2,960' x 36') at the Gardner Municipal Airport, Gardner, Kansas. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The pilot was not injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The flight originated from Lawrence, Kansas, at 1255 cst.

The pilot was practicing crosswind takeoffs and landings when the accident occurred. He reported that he made one touch and go during which he touched down "slightly fast" and left of centerline. He then flew a left traffic pattern for the second landing. He reported that on this landing the airplane touched down left of the centerline near the displaced threshold, and a "slight bounce" was experienced. The pilot said he added a little power then reduced it to settle back to the runway. It was at this time, according to the pilot, that the left propeller contacted the runway. He reported he applied full power, rotated the airplane, and the right propeller contacted the runway. The pilot reported that the airplane was level with the tops of the hangars when the left engine began running rough. He reported that he attempted to maneuver the airplane around parked airplanes in his path and as the airplane touched down it turned 15 degrees to the right and slid to a stop. The pilot reported he did not touch the landing gear selector during the landing nor did he hear the gear unsafe warning horn.

Two witnesses reported the airplane appeared to make a "...normal landing near the threshold of runway 26." They reported it stayed on the runway for several seconds when they heard the power increase and the airplane lifted off. They reported, "Immediately the landing gear retracted and the plane settled close to the runway. A propeller strike was observed and the right engine quit turning. The plane started a slight climb to an estimated 15-20 feet. Power on the left engine dropped and the plane leveled and struck the runway with gear up." They reported the airplane skidded down the runway then veered off the side into the grass where it contacted a parked Cessna 172.

The accident site and airplane were inspected by a Principal Operations Inspector (POI) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Kansas City Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). According to the POI, the pilot stated the airplane touched down "hard", but he was sure that it did not result in structural damage to the landing gear. He also stated he did not touch the landing gear selector, nor did he hear the landing gear warning horn until he reduced the power to idle.

The POI reported that the left propeller struck the runway first 582 feet from the threshold followed by the right propeller contacting the runway 600 feet from the threshold. He reported that both sets of scars disappeared 660 feet from the threshold. He also reported, "Scrapes on the runway from the inboard landing gear doors were located between the scars from the propellers. The scrapes converged slightly, to suggest that the doors were in motion (retracting) at the time of contact." He reported that there were no other scars until 1,100 feet later when the right wing struck the parked Cessna 172.

The POI continued to report that when the airplane was lifted off the ground and it was apparent the landing gear was fully retracted. He reported that the nose gear doors had received enough impact damage that they had to be pried open before the landing gear could be fully extended using the backup extension system.

An Airworthiness Inspector from the FAA Kansas City FSDO witnessed the operational testing of the landing gear system. He reported, "The results of these operational checks are that the landing gear and it's warning system are functioning normally."

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