This June 2010 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 182RG. Injuries: None. Location: Albuquerque. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: During the initial climb, the pilot noticed the airspeed indicator was erratic. After leveling off, the indicated airspeed was 70 to 80 knots. He compared this with the ground speed read-out on the GPS and noticed a significant difference, but he decided to continue the flight.
Later, while circling a house, the airspeed read-out dropped to zero knots. He returned for landing and tried to go through the pre-landing checklist, but was distracted by the malfunctioning airspeed indicator and radio traffic.
As he flared for landing and reduced power, he heard a horn, which he thought was the marker beacon alert, but was actually the gear warning horn. The airplane landed with the wheels retracted.
An examination of the pitot tube showed it was plugged with insects. No other anomalies were found.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to lower the landing gear. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s distraction with an erroneous airspeed indicator.
For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: CEN10CA341
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