Landing gear malfunctions

This March 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Cessna T210.
Location: Barstow, Calif.
Injuries: None.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The Cessna was in cruise flight at 10,500 feet MSL when the autopilot disengaged. The pilot reset the autopilot but it disengaged on its own again a few minutes later. The pilot determined that the electrical system was malfunctioning.

He notified ATC that he was diverting to a nearby airport, reduced all nonessential electrical loads, and slowed the airplane down. While orbiting over the airport he made several unsuccessful attempts to lower the landing gear, first using normal procedures and then using emergency procedures as outlined in the Pilot’s Operating Handbook. The nose wheel extended but the main landing gear did not fully deploy. After circling for about 45 minutes, the pilot decided to land the airplane with the gear retracted. The plane touched down and slid about 1,000 feet down the runway, stopping when it veered off the pavement.

After the accident, the airplane was placed on jacks and ground crew were able to deploy the landing gear. There was no evidence of a hydraulic fluid leak. The pilot reported that during a further examination of the airplane, he determined that the landing gear motor had malfunctioned, and that he had not properly engaged the emergency pump handle prior to attempting a manual extension of the landing gear.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to properly execute the manual landing gear extension procedures. The electrical system failure was a factor.

For more information: NTSB.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20070426X00461&key=1.

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