Gear Lights Showed ‘Down, Locked, And Safe For Landing’

Location: San Antonio, TX Accident Number: CEN20LA175
Date & Time: 05/08/2020, 2050 CDT Registration: N31704
Aircraft: Beech 1900 Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter – Non-scheduled

On May 8, 2020, about 2050 central daylight time, a Beechcraft 1900C, N31704, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near San Antonio, Texas. The airline transport pilot sustained no injury. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 135 cargo flight, as Ameriflight 1829.

The operator reported that the flight departed the Corpus Christi International Airport (CRP), Corpus Christi, Texas, at 2004 with 631 lbs of cargo and a fuel load of 2,800 lbs. During the initial climb, the captain selected the landing gear handle to the UP position to retract the landing gear. The attempt was unsuccessful, and the captain attempted to cycle the landing gear handle once more yielding the same result. Following the second  unsuccessful gear retraction, the captain elected to leave the landing gear handle in the DOWN position and continued to the San Antonio International Airport (SAT), San Antonio, Texas, where more services would be available if needed. The airplane climbed to 8,000 ft mean sea level and cruised below the maximum landing gear extended speed (VLE).

As the captain began to prepare for arrival at SAT, he retrieved the arrival automatic terminal information service (ATIS). The ATIS was reporting gusting winds out of the north, clear skies, and runway 4 as the active arrival runway. The captain began the descent toward the airport and air traffic control cleared the airplane for the visual approach to runway 4. The pilot entered a dogleg right base and completed the before landing checklist noting three green lights and no red lights, which indicated the landing gear was down, locked, and safe for landing.

The airplane touched down around the aiming point marker on runway 4. As the main landing gear touched down on the dry concrete, the left main landing gear collapsed, the red unsafe light in the landing gear handle illuminated, and was followed by an aural horn indicating the landing gear was now unlocked and unsafe for landing. Simultaneously, the airplane began to dip toward the left, causing the left wing tip to contact the runway. The impact on the airplane resulted in the airplane’s momentum taking the airplane from the runway centerline off the runway and into the grass area several thousand ft from the runway 4 threshold. Once the airplane came to a complete stop, the captain shutdown all power to the airplane and exited through the main entry air stairs.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. A postaccident damage assessment by the operator revealed that the left main landing gear brace was fractured. The operator reported that the airplane’s weight at the time of the accident was 14,381 lbs (the airplane’s maximum gross weight is 17,120 lbs). The airplane was retained for further examination.