Pilot Distraction Likely Led To Gear-up Landing

 - June 2, 2015, 10:16 AM

The owner-pilot of a Beechcraft King Air B200 was focused on an electrical problem when he landed gear up on May 16 at McClellan-Palomar Airport (CRQ), Carlsbad, Calif., according to an NTSB preliminary report released yesterday. While the wing structure of the 1996 turboprop twin sustained substantial damage, the commercial pilot and sole occupant was not injured in the accident.

The aircraft departed Palm Springs, Calif., in VMC with a planned destination of Santa Ana. No flight plan was filed. Following the discovery of the electrical issue, the pilot was able to maintain VFR conditions on top and flew westbound until reaching the coastline, at which time he turned southbound. As he flew toward Carlsbad, the pilot told the Safety Board, he was able to recover some radio function and also received a green light to land from McClellan-Palomar Airport Tower.

The pilot said that he did not realize his landing gear was retracted until it was too late and he was “committed to land.” Witnesses reported that the airplane approached the runway “faster than normal” and they saw that the gear was not down.