General Aviation News will often reprint accident reports produced by the US’s National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), including this March 2010 report about an accident involving a Piper Twin Comanche in Baltimore (Maryland) that resulted in no injuries but substantial aircraft damage.
According to the report, the pilot had 26 hours of flight time in a Piper Twin Comanche but this flight time was gained two years before the accident and he had not flown the aircraft since then. A week before the accident, the pilot had also obtained a multi-engine rating in a different make and model. He also stated that the purpose of his flight in the Piper was to perform full-stop landings in order to familiarize himself with the aircraft.
When the pilot was on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern for his first landing, he was cleared for a touch-and-go. However and after the aircraft touched down, the pilot applied full power and then he intended to retract the wing flaps but instead he retracted the landing gear – causing it to collapse. The Piper Twin Comanche then slid to a stop on its underside which caused substantially damage to its wings.
Hence, the probable cause of the accident was ruled the pilot’s inadvertent retraction of the landing gear while performing a touch-and-go landing while a contributing factor was the pilot’s lack of recent flying experience in the aircraft. In other words, its probably a good idea to spend more time to familiarize yourself with the controls of an aircraft you have not flown in awhile – especially if the landing gear is retractable.