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.

    62 vote(s)
    31.6%
  2. flown a retract, and have almost forgotten to drop the gear at least once before.

    18 vote(s)
    9.2%
  3. flown a retract, and landed gear up because I forgot the gear.

    2 vote(s)
    1.0%
  4. flown a retract, and landed gear up because of a mechanical issue.

    5 vote(s)
    2.6%
  5. flown a retract, and never had a close call with forgetting to lower the gear.

    97 vote(s)
    49.5%
  6. flown a retract, and forgot to raise the gear until well into the flight.

    41 vote(s)
    20.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    AC-114, an aircraft I had not flown often. Standard power reduction on VFR downwind, speed below gear extension speed, hit the gear switch. Radio calls, traffic in the area, and watching the runway, on speed, flaps , turn base. Why am I so high, should be lower by now. Reduced power some more, but it was not enough to activate the horn.

    Did not want to slow down and come down, more flap, mind says somethings not right. Start looking around, more power reduction, there's the horn, yep gear not down. Not providing the normal drag to maintain a normal decent at normal power settings.

    If something does not seem right, if standard power, flap, etc does not yield expected results, something is not right. Mind goes on full alert to find the problem.

    Edit:
    I should add that it was a true gear fail to extend problem. I had one 1/2 way down, one still in the well, and the nose just had the doors open. Climbed out of the pattern, reviewed everything and emergency extend, free fall. Did not feel good about the gear until slowing on final and I heard/felt a thunk and the lights went green.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  2. TheGolfPilot

    TheGolfPilot Line Up and Wait

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    The other day I was leaving KLAS and they had me make a quick right turn and I was so focused on the Vegas Strip I forgot to put the gear up. Once the strip passed I started to notice how much the 114 degrees out was dinging my climb, then I did my climb flow check and lol, gear was still extended.
     
  3. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Why are those three green lights so bright? Mental note: ask maintenance if there is some way to dim those lights. Do I have something to cover them up? Those three green lights are really annoying.

    Wait...... (moving gear handle up)

    Finally.... those three green lights are out.....

    Yes, I have forgotten to go up with the gear once.....
     
  4. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    I think we have all done that . . . But it's generally much safer (especially for your wallet) than forgetting to out the gear down.
     
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  5. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    I have lived long enough to know myself pretty well, and I know I am easily distracted and then forget things. We watched "Finding Dory" yesterday with my grand kids. I am not as bad as Dory with my short term memory problem, but close! I am a fixed gear flyer and plan to stay that way for that reason. I know a DPE with many thousands of hours who landed his Bonanza gear up not too long ago. I don't think there is a retract pilot who can definitely say they will never land gear up, unless they quit flying retracts.

    I am really glad you finally figured out the beeping!
     
  6. NoBShere

    NoBShere Pre-Flight

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    In the middle of completing the flight school requirements for complex endorsement now. I am enjoying it, a couple extra knobs, a few more things to do. It reminds me of how I felt on my first few trips in the pattern for PPL. Back then I thought there was a lot to do and then everything became habit. With the complex, first few laps seemed like I was a little behind, now i feel like I am keeping up with extra time to spare. I certainly see the need for a consistent process. I have made some mistakes and have not dwelled on them but, definitely learned from them (time will tell if I truly learned from them).
     
  7. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Someone else's gear up landing may have prevented one for me.

    KADS; lots of (seemingly, but really not) nonsensical vectors (it was for slower traffic ahead). I mean, sending me backwards on the (visual) approach, 90° across and through, that sort of thing - finally get cleared for the approach and a 172 uses most of the runway so twr sends me around. Now it is a looong downwind to the north, probably beyond kads's airspace limits, and then back in for the real thing.
    A good pal had a pattern distraction right here, not too long before and gearupped (I have applied to make that a new word). So, I was able to use his incident to remind, remind, remind, myself all through it to not forget at least that one thing. Thanks, friend. Sorry for your troubles, but know I used it for good.
     
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  8. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    I've never had a close call with the gear flying by myself.

    I did catch myself making a mistake once giving dual instruction in a Bonanza. I was giving transition instruction and the pilot asked me to put the flaps up for him, we were on the ground.

    At the time, most of my Bonanaza experience was as PIC in the left seat. The flap handle was the one nearest to you, is the same color as the gear, etc.

    I've learned that students do the damnest things with their hands. Pull the mixture instead of the throttle, turn of the fuel instead of switching tanks, etc. As a result I'm very focused on what a student's hands are doing and increasingly so in a complex airplane so that I can stop their hand before they can do something bad with the gear.

    So there I was...the "expert"...focused on watching what the student's hands were doing versus watching what I was doing. When he asked me to put the flaps up my muscle memory went for the handle "nearest" to me which in the right seat is the gear selector.

    I caught myself before my fingers actually made contact with the gear lever. Was still a couple inches away at that point. Even if my hand would have made contact I'm not sure if I would have moved it as I always visually confirm my hand is on the right control and verbally say the action I expect to happen for flaps/gear, etc. Squat switch may have saved us. Regardless, way too close to disaster for my comfort.

    It was a serious reality check for me that not only do I need to pay attention to everything the student's hands are doing I need to pay attention to my own damn hands too!
     
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  9. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That reminds me of flying with a very experienced pal several years ago. The type that was born in an airplane, did his first steps down an aircraft aisle instead of a living room floor, drank 80/87 instead of nursing, you know. Probably records time in his logbook as 'months' instead of hours. Love the guy to death. I landed in a third party's Bonanza and was rolling out. He has always flown Bonanzas. (as well as innumerable other types, some much larger) A pilot, in the right seat, is bored - right? I've been there. You want to set the transponder frequency, adjust the cockpit air, twiddle with the radios...something to stay active.
    So he said, "Flaps up?", with his hand on something. I said, "hold on a sec". As we got below 30kts I could see he had his hand on the gear switch (he'd taken it down by then). I said, "Lemme get it on the taxiway" or something.
    Yup, like our teenage date chaperones used to do; gotta know where everyone's hands are!

    PS, the message is not, 'that guy is a screwup'.
    It is; I am that guy, You are that guy, We are all that guy and we'd do well to remember our human weaknesses.
     
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  10. hawk25u

    hawk25u Pre-Flight

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    In the early 70's I was flying a BE24R to another airport to take a checkride for the Comm & Instr. Got cut off on final so went around saying a few choice words to myself and re entered the pattern. On final things didn't seem right so went around again. Reached for the gear handle finding it in the UP position. Around the pattern again and landed with the rubber in the correct position and the good news is I passed the checkride for Comm & Instr. The DPE told me later he was watching and when I went around as far as he was concerned I passed the Comm at that time. He knew the school I went through and the plane very well.
     
  11. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Nice GUMPS checks!!!!

    Anyone consider using an actual checklist?
     
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  12. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I thought that was only for 409 rides?
     
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  13. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    (oh, and yes it has been recently renamed 409 (from 709) as it more closely reflects the cleaning up of piloting issues!)

    [​IMG]
     
  14. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    About the closest I had to landing gear up was the first time I had an engine failure. I'd done the "impossible turn" back to the runway and was going "OK, prelanding check, what am I forgetting...oh yeah, gear."
     
  15. Gren Lewis

    Gren Lewis Filing Flight Plan

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    I moved back to TX from CA and got a new CFI to work on my IR. First time in a retract with him (I only had about 2hrs of complex time, but got the endorsement) he embedded my short final gear check into my head. GUMPS on downwind and a check again on base. Then on short final he screams "THREE DOWN, THREE GREEN!!" and causes me to jump in my seat. Throws me off but I look quickly at the lights and I have a less-than-stellar landing. He tells me the reason for this is to have that experience replay every time I land a plane.

    It worked... I can't land any plane without hearing that in my head on short final.
     
  16. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I guess I'm in a way lucky. I know I keep bragging on my Mooney's Johnson bar gear. To be honest, it was a total bitch for me to learn. I think it took a good 30 hours before I wasn't having issues, and even now I have to go head down on takeoff to make certain its latched. But there is a big-time silver lining to that cloud. Because it was so difficult to learn there is a bit of emotional investment to swinging the bar. Hard for me to forget, and very obvious in the panel. That said, just as many J-bar Mooneys have come in gear up as electric, so I think its just me, or perhaps I'm deluding myself. I have managed to do just a bout every other bone-headed thing imaginable since getting this aircraft.

    The other thing that I do is the gear is downed locked and flaps are fully deployed before I ever hit the landing pattern, I usually get it done a few miles out. Its the way I was taught, but my thinking is in the landing pattern I should be looking out for other aircraft, not fooling with mine. That, and its in the landing pattern that you're most likely to get sufficiently distracted to forget something like the gear.
     
  17. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, we had that experience too; on a checkout flight. To the point we actually had another plane have a look at it from the air.
     
  18. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    I'm a big believer in SOP. I have only two locations where the gear comes down, one for visual approaches and one for instrument approaches. Do the same thing in the same way at the same time so regularly it becomes a habit, which minimizes the chance it gets missed. (That is not instead of a checklist and flow, but a supplement. And, that's "minimize" not "eliminate.")

    My closest? Years ago, I flew with another pilot who had a different gear down procedure than mine. I really liked it and decided to change. On my second flight with the new procedure, I received a "nonstandard" landing instruction from the Tower. I was "awakened" by the gear warning on final*. Shook me up a lot and I immediately went back to my SOP.

    (* perhaps interesting precursor to the "new" slow flight and the FAA's rationale - in complex transition training, I teach the goal is to never trigger the gear warning alarm in normal flight)
     
  19. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My instructor drilled into me that the last "THREE GREEN" check on short final was as important (perhaps more) than verifying you were cleared to land. It was a mortal sin not to make the check and oral call out when flying with him. This worked well in my favor when I had an engine failure shortly after takeoff (but after the gear was raised). I don't know when your "visual approach" SOP calls for gear down, but I can guess that this situation would be one where you might miss it.

    As for "not triggering the gear warning" method. I submit an incident with my instructor and another student in a Bonanza. As she flew the approach with the gear horn beeping, he suggested that if she advanced the throttle a tad that sound would go away. Not catching his drift, she advanced the throttle.
     
  20. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    I check my single green light after dropping the gear, again on base, and look & point at the mechanical indicator in the floor on final. Regardless of the lights, the floor idicator is painted on the gear mechanism and cannot be incorrect.
     
  21. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    Yes, I like the little window on the floor. When I put the gear down (or up), I call it twice. "Gear down and down", the 1st down after seeing the indicator on the annunciator, and the 2nd after verifying the floor window.
     
  22. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I promise you I can distract you to the point where the SOP goes straight to hell. Ask anyone who knows me. And I don't hold a patch n your average 8 year-old.
     
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  23. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In the case of the older Mooney I've been flying while the Navion is down, there is a positive indication that the gear is down and locked (and it ain't the light). The handle has to be fully up in the recess in the panel.
     
  24. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Perhaps. But note the parenthesis in my post.