Video: Your landing gear doesn’t extend…

A post maintenance flight in a Cessna 210 results in a gear up landing. This YouTube video shows a remarkable landing using only the tail and an extended nose gear.

I don’t think it could have gone better.


  1. Nathan says

    I just happened upon this post and was quite surprised to see my plane as the topic of discussion! This landing happened in November of 2013, and as far as we can tell it was caused by some form of debris holding a poppet open in the power pack, resulting in zero pressure in the hydraulic system which is why we did not use flaps. The system was full of fluid, and all hoses had been replaced in the six months prior. The power pack, accumulator, hydraulic pump, and gear door actuators had also been recently overhauled, but this problem occurred on a maintenance flight following main gear actuator overhaul. The mechanic in the right seat was indeed at the controls, and he did do a fantastic job of getting it on the ground with minimal damage. We opted for asphalt because it is proven to be much gentler on the airframe than grass, which doesn’t allow the airplane to slide smoothly.

  2. A36flyer says

    That’s an early model strutted 210, 1960. The landing gear is an engine driven hydraulic system with a lot of limit switches for sequencing the doors and gear swing. The limit switches operate solenoids in the hydraulic pack, the sequence is doors open, gear down, doors close, selector handle returns to neutral. This requires limit switches on the three sets of doors for both open and close as well as up lock and down lock for the gear. in 1979 (I think) Cessna removed the doors and eliminated the solenoids, there’s also an STC to remove the doors. A gear failure like this can be from a bad limit switch, solenoid, or insufficient hydraulic fluid. The pilot did make a nice landing, minimal damage to the aircraft.

  3. Charlie Brown says

    Wonder why he did not use full flaps, would have slowed his approach speed a lot.

    I would disagree about Cessna being the worst gear. True for the hyd. system on the antique 210 but the electric is great.

    I wonder if he tried the neg G’s and Positive G’s and all the tricks in the box?

    I had a 707 that I could not get a green light for the nose gear and when we went to full flaps ( had been restricted to 20 flaps for noise stage III) it went green. Too bad we had already dumped 10,000 # of Jet A

  4. PB says

    I’m curious – I met a 210 owner who had a hydraulic failure and he tried for over an hour, pumping, pumping, and the gear finally, ever do gradually, extended and he landed safely (at Palomar, near San Diego). He taxied to his maintenance facility, furious at the poor maintenance, and he was told they only do the landing gear (meaning replacing hydraulic hoses and O rings) when asked to by the owner.
    The fact is that the Cessna single engine series have the worst landing gear system of any GA plane. If an O ring pops, or a hose fails, and hydraulic pressure is lost, then the plane is doomed.
    I’d like to know the technical details of why the gear failed on this aircraft. I’d also like to see an AD that mandates hose changes periodically – perhaps 5 years?

    • Paul A. Leonard, Jr. says

      Not true. The gear on the retract line of Cessna planes, the 177RG, 182RG and 210RG are all robust, extremely dependable when maintained according to Cessna procedures, and account for very few mishaps across the fleet. The statement, “worst landing gear system of any GA plane” is total nonsense.

      • PB says

        Again, I disagree. I gather you’ve never opened up a transmission on these things. And any system that has no real manual extension system is junk.
        I’ve owned six C177RGs and I know that system intimately, and the 210 has the same hydraulic system – lose an O ring and hydraulic pressure and the plane can’t lower the gear.
        You’re entitled to disagree with me but don’t accuse me of “total nonsense’. That is totally inappropriate.

  5. Ernie Kelly says

    Based on the bow of the gentleman exiting the passenger door, I wonder if he was flying? It was a remarkably good landing; better than many of mine with all three down and locked.

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