Glastar pilot forgets the gear

Aircraft: Glastar. Injuries: 1 Minor. Location: Wilsonville, Ore. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot took off from the airport in his amphibious experimental airplane with the intention of flying a closed traffic pattern. Because he planned to land back on the runway, he left the landing gear in the extended position.

During the departure, he overflew a river, located about three miles north of the airport, and observed that the water was calm. He made a spur of the moment decision to land in the river and forgot that the wheels were extended.

The airplane was not equipped with an aural gear warning horn or gear position lights, however, it was equipped with mirrors on each wing so that the pilot could visually determine the position of the gear. The pilot stated that he did not check the position of the gear with the mirrors, therefore he did not notice that the landing gear was down.

Consequently, the airplane nosed over as it decelerated and sustained substantial damage.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to raise the landing gear wheels prior to landing in water, resulting in a nose over.

NTSB Identification: WPR11CA130

This February 2011 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.


  1. Randy Beloff says

    When I was taking my commercial training, my instructors would get on my case constantly because when turning from base to final, I would always say out loud, “Feet dry, check gear down” or “Feet wet, check gear up”, and then I would visually check the gear, even if I was flying a fixed gear airplane. They said it was a waste of time and would scare my passengers.
    A very high time pilot taught me this technique. Both of us have never had a gear up landing or flipped an amphibian with a gear down water landing.
    Safe and aware is always better. Hopefully anyone reading this will consider adding this ritual to their flying checklist.

  2. Ray Klein says

    Whenever diverting from your original flight plan always run the departure checklist or at least a “sweep check” and treat it like a new departure. And run the pre-landing checks. Flying is serious buisiness into which complacency has no buisiness.

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