How I almost landed gear up today...

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by GUMP Chump, Aug 1, 2016.

?

I have... (multiple responses allowed)

  1. never flown a retract.

    49 vote(s)
    29.7%
  2. flown a retract, and have almost forgotten to drop the gear at least once before.

    16 vote(s)
    9.7%
  3. flown a retract, and landed gear up because I forgot the gear.

    2 vote(s)
    1.2%
  4. flown a retract, and landed gear up because of a mechanical issue.

    3 vote(s)
    1.8%
  5. flown a retract, and never had a close call with forgetting to lower the gear.

    85 vote(s)
    51.5%
  6. flown a retract, and forgot to raise the gear until well into the flight.

    35 vote(s)
    21.2%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. GUMP Chump

    GUMP Chump Guest

    It's been very busy with work and personal travel, and family events. Looking ahead at the schedule, I knew that this morning before my first calls of the day was the only time I'd have in the next week to fly my personally owned aircraft, so I headed to the airport for just a few times around the pattern, to see the sunrise from the sky, keep the engine lubricated and to get some "me time" in the airplane.

    Winds were south at 170, 7 knots. Two other aircraft were sharing the pattern when I poured the coals on. Downwind on the first time around, I could tell that the winds aloft were stronger than the winds on the ground, due to the significant crab to the west it took to hold left downwind leg. One of the other aircraft got confused about where the rest of us were at in the pattern, and started asking questions about where the other aircraft (and then, me) were currently located.

    This is right where I'd normally confirm gear speed, drop the gear, throttle back a bit, and begin configuring for landing. In responding to the call from the other aircraft, I let distraction set in, and didn't drop the gear. I noticed that my airspeed was higher than normal (clue #1, less drag), and incorrectly wondered if the tailwind was affecting the "feel" of the aircraft... of course, we all know it would affect my groundspeed but not my airspeed. I reduced power a bit more to lower the airspeed into the flaps range, and noticed that it was at a lower manifold pressure than usual (clue #2).

    "BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP". The gear warning horn blared. (clue #3)

    Brain: "That's odd, why am I picking up the middle marker at KXYZ from over here?" Speed now where I wanted it, a touch of power added, blaring horn stopped.

    Flaps 10. Crosswind call, turn crosswind. Still a little fast. Pull the power a bit more, trim for 75.

    "BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP". (clue #4) Panel scan. JPI 830 "CLD -52".

    Brain: "Wow, cool, I didn't know that the JPI would give me a tone alarm for shock cooling!" Added a touch of power to temper the shock cooling "threat" (which, retrospectively, really wasn't a concern now, was it, in the first time around the pattern) and the horn stopped, and the "CLD -52" red alert went away. Cool. All good now. (NOPE!!!)

    Turn final. Running GUMPS check as I pull power a bit more for glidepath control.

    "BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP" (clue #5)

    G-- GEAR. HORN - OMG!!! I finally figured it out. Gear down, green, run GUMPS two more times (what else might I have forgotten?!) and landed full stop to sort it out and get my brain back in the game.

    Next two trips around the pattern were not an issue.

    Takeaways: I'm a careful, cautious pilot. I have a strict "GEAR DOWN to GO DOWN" rule, and habitually drop the gear as I enter the middle downwind leg on pattern entry / in the pattern. The radio call broke my cadence. GUMPs is usually ran there too, and on crosswind, and on final. The airspeed differences than usual and the distraction of the gear warning horn took me out of my routine. Next time, if ANYTHING seems out of the ordinary, exit the pattern, hold, figure it out there. Pay attention to clues, don't "rationalize" them away (marker beacon, JPI alert, etc.).

    It's a good thing I pressured my mechanic to get the gear warning horn fixed this past annual. It's a complicated cam/microswitch setup on the carb's throttle plate, and it didn't work correctly in the past. I would hope that GUMPs check on final would have caught it, but have to wonder if absent the three times the horn went off, would I have actually noticed?

    Checklists... important, but honestly, who has time to pull it out and read it in the pattern? Do you, every time? Maybe I'll change that routine, too... or is that what GUMPs is for? Would I have missed pulling the checklist for the same reason I missed the downwind GUMPs?

    Just sharing the story to spark discussion. We learn from each others' mistakes. Candid discussion is valuable. Yes, I'll file a NASA report, even though this happened at an uncontrolled field. There is a good lesson there about how distraction almost lead to disaster.
     
    LDJones and denverpilot like this.
  2. Lachlan

    Lachlan Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2015
    Messages:
    684
    Location:
    North Creek, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Lachlan
    I'm surprised you didn't go around. Glad to hear you're safe. Be careful out there!
     
  3. vontresc

    vontresc En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Messages:
    3,329
    Location:
    Madison
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    vonSegelGoober
    Seen at Osh a few years ago...

    G - Gear
    U - Undercarriage
    M - Make sure the gear is down
    P - Put down the damn gear
    S - See if the gear is actually down

    :D
     
  4. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    6,477
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jordan
    Strict checklist discipline and GUMPS has kept me out of trouble so far. It can happen to anyone and I won't judge anyone who's had one.
     
  5. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    12,477
    Location:
    Behind you!
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    Had a VERY close call with a student.

    We were working on CPL maneuvers in a PA24, the zillionth landing, simulated power off 180, dump the gear at the last minute, he put the gear down, but only put he switch into the middle OFF position, thus the normally dull lights were off, buzzers off, I admit I was complacent on this millionth landing, get into the settling down sight picture, doesn't feel right, "go around now now now!" As I reach over and firewall it, didn't land gear up, but dirty close.

    Nowadays with the amphib I'm really OCD about it.

    Flows followed up with a checklist.

    Configure 1 dot from the GS to 3nm from a FAF for IFR.

    Dow wind or 3nm from the threshold for VFR

    Doubble check short final

    Triple check once I have the landing sight picture.
     
  6. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    11,464
    Location:
    Denton, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Now offering reverse discounts.
    Our Bonanza is in the repair shop as I type from a gear up incident that occurred in late May.

    One of the ongoing discussions springing from the incident is efficacy of our gear warning device and how the original Beechcraft system sounds too much like the stall horn. Leading to confusion of what the warning is saying like what occurred in the OP's story when he thought it was the Outer Marker. We have also discussed if installing a different warning system is worth the dollars.

    I agree that strict checklist discipline is a good solution to always employ.
     
  7. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    3,060
    Location:
    Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ted Striker
    To think you'll be they guy, or gal who never comes close to landing gear up is ignorant. I haven't come extremely close (on short final or in the flare), but I have been closer in than normal and that gives you an uneasy feeling in your gut knowing what could have been.
     
  8. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    5,578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    eman1200
    I'm afraid if I vote, I'll jinx myself. so far no issues getting the gear down prior to putting the belly down.
     
  9. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    14,191
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    3Green
    Let's just say I'm just glad the poll is anonymous. ;-)
     
  10. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    14,191
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    3Green
    I was just reading yesterday that some of the new AoA (Angle of Attack) indicators include flap and gear position sensors, and aural alerts. You're probably not as likely to miss the gear with it screaming "GEAR, YOU IDIOT!! PUT THE GEAR DOWN" than just hearing "BEEP BEEP BEEP".

    Here's one example, the Pro version.

    http://www.advanced-flight-systems.com/Products/AOA/aoa.html
     
  11. danhagan

    danhagan Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,018
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    danhagan
    I don't fly a retract, but if I did, I would probably have a triple check system like the one you see Frank Holbert use on 160knots.com (Gumps and prop on downwind, again base, and confirmed on short final).
     
  12. tmyers

    tmyers En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,818
    Location:
    Kettering, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tim Myers
    Agreed x2
     
  13. FORANE

    FORANE Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,379
    Location:
    TN
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FORANE
    Closest I came I actually put the gear selector in the down position. Problem was nothing lowered, no lights came on, etc, and I failed to notice that until final gear check on short final. Sure was hard to slow it down on final.
     
  14. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    3,060
    Location:
    Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ted Striker
    I've had that happen in a Saratoga. I slowed the airplane enough to where the emergency extension system operated automatically and all three fell free with 3 green lights. "That's it, I'm not doing anything else and I'll call the mechanic on the ground," I thought to myself. That was the second time this airplane had given me gear trouble.

    MX could never reproduce the problem and I haven't had an issue since. :dunno:
     
  15. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,655
    Location:
    Colorado
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mtns2Skies
    Forgot to put the gear up during a trip around the pattern. That scared me. I thought to myself "wow I just as easily could have forgotten to put the gear down"... I treat RG's with much more respect after that incident.

    EDIT: In a Piper Arrow.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
    red4golf likes this.
  16. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,862
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    jsstevens
    I've never come close, but my total time in complex is just over 5 hours and I've always had an instructor in the right seat. Not really a fair comparison.

    John
     
  17. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    10,390
    Location:
    mass fla
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ron keating
    Checklist ,checklist,checklist.
     
  18. SmashTime

    SmashTime Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2014
    Messages:
    468
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SmashTime
    Thank you for sharing!
     
  19. arkvet

    arkvet Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2016
    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Arkvet
    I can assure you I will never forget to lower the gear in my Saratoga.
     
  20. Pilawt

    Pilawt En-Route

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    4,358
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pilawt
    In my old K35 Bonanza, Vle was 122 KIAS, and Vfe was 104, IIRC. On a normal arrival it was well nigh impossible to slow to flap speed without the gear being out first. That was helpful, but also something of a complacency-inducing crutch. Alter the normal procedure, as in just flying a circuit around the pattern, and it's easy to forget.
     
  21. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    10,187
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Careful now..... ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  22. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    10,187
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    GUMP GUMP GUMP! And not the Forest one. I even do it in fixed gear.
     
  23. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    5,950
    Location:
    Vermont
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    On one of my first checkout flights in a 182RG, I put the gear lever down, the gear motor worked away, the gear seemed to pop into place, but no green. I pointed this out to my checkout CFI, he thought it was just a glitch, so I cycled the gear again, same thing... could it be the bulb? He checked that out while I flew the plane, but the bulb was good. We tried cycling the gear again, this time they did not come down. Uh-oh. Time to pump them down by hand. That worked, though the CFI had to give the pump lever that last pull as I wasn't strong enough to do it. Did my best soft field landing ever, holding the nose off for quite a few seconds. Turned out there was a hydraulic fluid leak and we had barely enough to hand pump it!

    That's the closest I've ever come to a gear up landing. But I fly a retract (177RG) and will never say it couldn't happen...
     
  24. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,655
    Location:
    Colorado
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mtns2Skies
    Yikes! The Cessna landing gear design is unforgiving. @DavidWhite had a thread on that, though I couldn't find it.
     
  25. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    12,645
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fearless Tower
    Kind of like the Beech 18. I don't think it is possible to get within the flap speed without the gear down. You'd pretty much have to pull the nose up into the sky to do it.
     
  26. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Unit74
    GEAR. BEFORE. FLAPS. ALWAYS. PERIOD. END OF STORY.


    Do not, I repeat, do NOT touch the flaps until gear is down and locked.
     
  27. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    12,645
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fearless Tower
    That's fine for most GA piston airplanes, but goes out the window when you start flying bigger things.
     
  28. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,655
    Location:
    Colorado
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mtns2Skies
    And can cause complacency if you want to do a no-flap landing.
     
  29. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Unit74

    Isn't that what we are talking about? Last check, 99.44% of this board are flying under 6 seats.
     
  30. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    10,187
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Nope, as mentioned, depends what you're flying. Some have to have a notch or two of flaps down to slow enough to extend the landing gear. Nothing wrong putting some flaps down before you put the gear down.
     
  31. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Unit74

    Not following your comment.

    Gear before flaps really has nothing to do with a no flap landing. The gear is down, stabilize the approach and nothing else.

    What am I missing that festers complacency?
     
  32. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Unit74

    Pull power, nose up, slow down. Now, if your in a Lancair, you must pull the chute to slow it.

    Gear before flaps is a methodology to minimize gear ups. Plain and simple. Don't like it, don't do it. Fly your own plane. Show me a plane GA you are required to drop flaps before gear, always.
     
  33. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    12,645
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fearless Tower
    No one said anything about being required, but in many twins, there are times when you have to slow your approach speed for sequencing and it makes more sense to add flaps than fly 15 miles with the gear down.

    Like Jordane93 alluded to, strict checklist discipline is more important to saving your bacon than arbitrary rules of thumb.
     
  34. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,655
    Location:
    Colorado
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mtns2Skies
    Atleast in my mind - might not apply to you. I would tie gear and flaps together in my mind... if flaps don't have to come down, no reason to remember to lower landing gear. YMMV
     
  35. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    12,645
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fearless Tower
    No one said anything about being required, but in many twins, there are times when you have to slow your approach speed for sequencing and it makes more sense to add flaps than fly 15 miles with the gear down.

    Like Jordane93 alluded to, strict checklist discipline is more important to saving your bacon than arbitrary rules of thumb.
     
  36. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    3,870
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Unit74
    True.....


    I really try to be on the lists. But everyone knows something happens to mess up your list sequence now and again. In or near the pattern is a bad place to be looking at a checklist. You should be bobbled heading unless on an inst approach in poor vis.

    Always gear before flaps is what I was taught. If I reached for the flaps, I'd catch a closed sectional up the side of my head. (When you could still get them at any FBO)
     
  37. KFD

    KFD Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Messages:
    113
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    KFD
    Gear before flaps is what I do too.
     
  38. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,302
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave Theisen
    I assume yours is fixed gear. :)
     
    arkvet likes this.
  39. silver-eagle

    silver-eagle En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Messages:
    4,632
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ~John
    New plane to me, hp and complex, I had owned it for about 4 months trying to schedule time with my CFI for the insurance signoff, probably less than 3 hours total. We had just come back from doing slow flight and stalls. He suggests we do some touch and goes then some emergency procedures. We get into downwind, slow below 100, drop gear, no lights. Cycle them up and down. We can feel them just no green. Now we're totally out of shape and head off to the north to diagnose the problem. After cycling the gear again, I see the nav lights are on. Off they go, recycle the gear, 3 green.
    They go out with the nav lights on. Well, not out out, just so dim you cannot see them in sunlight.
    Great practice. Back to downwind and landing. I checked for 3 green on downwind, base, and final. It is now the procedure.
     
  40. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    5,950
    Location:
    Vermont
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    While it's certainly possible to slow down enough without flaps to extend the gear in my Cardinal, my SOP when flying an instrument approach is to add approach flaps for stability just before reaching the IAF. Then, gear down at the FAF, or when beginning my descent, if there is no FAF. I don't see any reason to alter that procedure.

    Also, when descending into the vicinity of an airport VFR, I normally add flaps before the descent and then put the gear down when reaching pattern altitude.