Bad landing for distracted pilot

Aircraft: Piper Navajo. Injuries: None. Location: North Bend, Ore. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot had been flying on an IFR clearance in IFR conditions. As he approached his home airport and the weather improved to VFR, he canceled his IFR clearance with the intent on finishing the approach VFR. He neglected to refer to the written pre-landing checklist as he entered the traffic pattern and forgot to lower the landing gear.

During the landing flare, he heard the noise caused by the wing flaps and both propellers hitting the surface of the runway, and he added power and immediately executed a go-around. He was able to make a normal landing.

He said during the approach he heard the gear warning horn sounding, but he thought it was the altitude alerting system. An inspection of both the runway surface scarring and each propeller blade revealed that the tips of all six blades had been ground down by repeated contact with the asphalt surface.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to lower the landing gear while on approach to landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to follow a written checklist during the approach portion of the flight.

NTSB Identification: WPR11CA142

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.

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