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On November 18, 1998, at 1515 eastern standard time, a Beech BE-55B, N21MJ, landed with the wheels up, and burst into flames at Tara Field, in Hampton, Georgia. The instructional flight was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, with no flight plan filed. The two Federal Aviation Administration Inspectors were not injured, and the airplane was destroyed. The training flight departed Tara Field, in Hampton, Georgia, at 1320.
According to the pilot, he had completed approximately one hour and forty-five minutes of training, and had returned to the local traffic pattern at Tara Field. On final approach, the pilot executed S-turns to maintain separation from the other airplane that was in the same traffic pattern. The pilot failed to notice that the landing gear warning light was on, and the airplane touched down about 100 feet from the approach end of runway 06. The pilot was able to turn off the battery master switch, the magneto switches, and the generators, but did not close the fuel shut-off. The airplane burst into flames and slid to a stop on the runway.
According to the police report, a witness, located approximately 150 yards from the accident site, observed the airplane landed with the wheels up. Another witness, in a Cessna 172, was taxiing to takeoff on runway 06 when a pilot on the Unicom told him to clear the active runway. He stated that he looked out his right hand side window to see what was coming and saw the Baron sliding on its under side. He also stated that at first he did not see any fire, but sparks came from the airplane as it slid along on the runway surface. After the two occupants evacuated the airplane, it began to burn.
PERSONNEL INFORMATION The pilot, age 65, is employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. He holds a Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), and Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate. He holds a single engine land, multi engine land, helicopter, and glider ratings. He has a total of 250 hours of flying time in this airplane. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on August 5, 1998, with limitations for six months. (See page 3 for more information)
The second pilot, age 37, is employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. He holds a Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), and Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate. He holds a single engine land, multi engine land, and helicopter ratings. He has a total of 20 hours of flying time in this aircraft. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on July 27, 1998, with no waivers and limitations. (See attachment Supplement E for more information)
Aircraft Information is included in this report on page 2, under the section entitled "Aircraft Information".
Weather information is included in this report on page 4, under the section entitled "Weather Information".
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
Examination of the accident site disclosed that the airplane rested in the center of runway 06 approximately 2000 feet from the approach end. The examination also revealed that the center and cockpit sections of the airframe sustained extensive fire damage. During the post-accident examination of the airframe, the landing gear transmission assembly showed a retracted position. The wheel examination also showed that the respective landing wheel was up and locked. The wreckage examination failed to disclose a mechanical malfunction. No mechanical problems with the airplane were reported by the pilot.
The two FAA Inspectors were conducting a quarterly flight training in accordance with Federal Aircraft Management Program Handbook Order 4040.9 D. They were performing the Event Base Concurrency Training Program that is for Flight Standards Personnel only. During each quarter the Federal Aviation Administration personnel has to fly a variety of aircraft and execute different maneuvers to remain current. The 4040.9 D Training is a requirement for the respective position.
According to the pilot, "The normal landing checklist was used up to the point of lowering the landing gear. However, due to the concerted effort to maintain the separation from the Cessna (another airplane in the traffic pattern), the balance of the checklist was, obviously, not accomplished."