Beechcraft 1900C Landing Gear Collapse at San Antonio, TX

Beechcraft B1900C Landing Gear Collapse at San Antonio, TX, 8 May 2020 (Ameriflight, N31704)

On 8 May 2020 Ameriflight Beechcraft 1900C N31704 was damaged in an accident at San Antonio, Texas. The aircraft was being flown single pilot as a Part 135 cargo flight.

Ameriflight B1900C N31704 Damaged Left Wing (Credit: FAA via NTSB)

Ameriflight B1900C N31704 Damaged Left Wing (Credit: FAA via NTSB)

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) preliminary report states 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).

Nearing San Antonio, the pilot completed the before landing checklist and noted ‘three greens’ which indicated the landing gear was down and locked.  However…

As the main landing gear touched down…the left main landing gear collapsed, the red unsafe light in the landing gear handle illuminated…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 [which resulted in] momentum taking the airplane from the runway centerline off the runway and into the grass area several thousand feet 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.

A postaccident damage assessment by the operator revealed that the left main landing gear brace was fractured.

Ameriflight B1900C N31704 Fracture Left MLG Drag Brace (Credit: FAA via NTSB)

Ameriflight B1900C N31704 Fracture Left MLG Drag Brace (Credit: FAA via NTSB)

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 NTSB investigation is progressing and Aerossurance will update this article when more is published.  We do note that landing gear issues are surprisingly common on the B1900, B99 and King Air families.

Safety Resources

Our past B1900, B99 and King Air safety articles include:

We have also written these landing gear related articles:

Ameriflight B1900C N31704 at San Juan Intermational in 2008 (Credit: James Willamon, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ameriflight B1900C N31704 at San Juan Intermational in 2008 (Credit: James Willamon, CC BY-SA 2.0)


Aerossurance has extensive air safety, operations, SAR, airworthiness, human factors, aviation regulation and safety analysis experience.  For practical aviation advice you can trust, contact us at: enquiries@aerossurance.com