Aviation safety investigations & reports

Wheels up landing involving Beech A36, VH-SQI, Kumarina Roadhouse airstrip, WA, 12 November 2012

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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On 12 November 2012, Beechcraft Bonanza VH-SQI, was departing Kumarina Roadhouse airstrip, Western Australia for a fire reconnaissance flight.   On board were the pilot and one passenger.

As the aircraft accelerated for takeoff, the forward cabin door next to the passenger opened. The pilot elected to continue the takeoff and return to land at Kumarina, to secure the door.

To expedite the circuit and landing, the pilot left the aircraft in the take-off configuration, apart from retracting the landing gear. The pilot flew a  lower and tighter circuit than normal.

As the aircraft was flared for landing, the pilot realised he had forgotten his downwind and pre-landing checks. These included extending the landing gear. The aircraft landed with the wheels up and skidded to a halt on the runway.

This report highlights the risks associated with the distraction of an abnormal event during flight, and looks at Canadian research statistics from similar events at:

Transport Canada: Recommendations Concerning In-flight Opening of Doors on Small Aircrafts

Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin – Issue 15


Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 177KB]
Alternate: [Download  DOC: 4.36MB]
General details
Date: 12 November 2012   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0850 WST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): Kumarina Roadhouse airstrip    
State: Western Australia   Occurrence type: Wheels up landing  
Release date: 27 February 2013   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Beech Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model 36  
Aircraft registration VH-SQI  
Serial number E-218  
Type of operation Aerial Work  
Damage to aircraft Serious  
Departure point Kumarina Roadhouse WA  
Destination Unknown  
Last update 14 November 2018