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N850WM accident description

Michigan map... Michigan list
Crash location 43.894722°N, 85.284722°W
Nearest city Evart, MI
43.900575°N, 85.258097°W
1.4 miles away
Tail number N850WM
Accident date 14 Apr 2015
Aircraft type Socata TBM700
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On April 14, 2015, about 1145 eastern daylight time, a Socata TBM 700, N850WM, experienced a gear-up landing on runway 24 (3,804 feet by 75 feet, asphalt) at Evart Municipal Airport (9C8), Evart, Michigan. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the bottom fuselage skin. The commercial pilot and flight instructor were uninjured. The airplane was registered to Wings Up III LLC and operated by the pilot. The instructional flight was operated under Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight, which was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local flight last departed from 9C8 about 1100 and was planned to return to 9C8 but diverted to Roben-Hood Airport (RQB), Big Rapids, Michigan.

The airplane accident was not reported by the owner/operator but was discovered by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector from the Grand Rapids Flight Standards District Office after being notified of the accident by a person on April 28, 2015. The airplane had been moved to Socata North America, Inc., Pompano, Florida where it was going to undergo repair as instructed by the insurance representatives for Traverse City Helicopters, LLC. On May 6, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration reported the accident to the National Transportation Safety Board Central Region Duty Officer.

The flight instructor stated that they departed from 9C8 with a normal take-off from runway 24 followed by "basic" visual flight rules air work that included steep turns and slow flight. They returned to 9C8 for pattern work where a normal landing was performed followed by a landing using 10 degrees of flaps and a landing with 0 degrees of flaps. While performing the approach/landing with 0 degrees of flaps, the landing gear was not extended at midfield, as had happened on the previous two landings. As the airplane descended into ground effect, the pilot and the flight instructor realized that the landing gear was not down and "took immediate steps to go around." The rear ventral strikes and a portion of the aft belly contacted the runway before descent could be reversed, and the propeller struck the runway. They continued the climb out, assessed the damage and controllability, and then diverted to RQB where a maintenance facility could look at the airplane. The flight landed at RQB without further incident.

During a telephone conversation with the pilot, the pilot said he was a "long time fixed wing pilot." He said that the instructional flight was part of an airplane checkout required by the insurance company, and the flight instructor was recommended by the insurance company. The pilot stated that he went through "a lot of ground stuff" as part of his training in the accident airplane, and the accident flight was the first flight flown with the flight instructor. The pilot stated that prior to the accident he did not know that there was no gear warning annunciation without the flaps extended. The pilot said that he was the flying pilot at the time of the accident, and the flight instructor was demonstrating a no flap approach. The pilot said they prior they were flying a "quite large" traffic pattern. The pilot said that he was "distracted" from watching the airspeed and attitude of the airplane and during touchdown he heard the noise of the airplane contact with the runway and applied power to initiate an aborted landing because "there was not much runway left." Once airborne, they got the airplane stable and decided to continue the flight to an airport that had more aircraft services available.

According to the TBM 700 Pilot Operating Handbook, Section 4, Normal Procedures, Before Landing checklist, the landing gear control was to be in the down position, the three landing gear green lights were to be on, and the red warning light was to be off.

A review of the pilot's logbook showed that he did not have a high altitude endorsement under Part 61.31(g) "Additional training required for operating pressurized aircraft capable of operating at high altitudes." The pilot's logbook showed that he accumulated a total of 19.7 hours of dual instruction received in the Socata TBM 700, and accumulated no pilot-in-command flight time in the Socata TBM 700.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to follow the Before Landing checklist and to extend the landing gear and the flight instructor’s inadequate supervision, which resulted in a gear-up landing.

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