According to the pilot, due to weather in the local area, he elected to conduct a straight-in landing approach, rather than overfly the runway at the airport in Buckland, Alaska.
After slowing the Piper PA31’s airspeed, he selected flaps down to 15°, landing gear down, followed by full flaps. The pilot told investigators that he was distracted by standing water on the runway, and he failed to confirm the landing gear was in the down and locked position.
After landing, and realizing that the landing gear was not extended, he checked the landing gear handle, which was in the down neutral position with no landing gear indicator lights illuminated.
The pilot surmised that upon selection of the landing gear handle on the approach, he must have failed to place the landing gear handle in the full down position.
In the recommendation section of the NTSB Accident/Incident Reporting Form 6120.1, the pilot stated that the accident may have been prevented if he had followed the airplane’s checklist and not allowed the distractions and deviation from routine to alter his normal procedures.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to extend the landing gear before landing due to distraction by the condition of the runway and his failure to use the Before Landing checklist.
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This April 2020 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.
Don Halbert says
Keep on Rocking
Dave Spurlock says
Distractions in planes, as in cars/trucks, has to be one of highest causes of bent metal and frequently fatalities. I hope and pray that some brilliant Human Factors Engineers (those folks with the 50lb brains) figure out a way – beyond religious and zealous use of checklists – to overcome distractions in cars, trucks and airplanes (😬 thank you John Candy & Steve Martin)!!!!
scott k patterson says
25 or 25,000 hours, it’s simply a scenario of that person finally meeting their weak spot, the one that’s always been there. The difference is only everyone else’s analysis, misconceptions and excuses.
Wylbur Wrong says
I don’t know this aircraft, but it would seem to me that (1) a gear unsafe light should have lit, and (2) the gear horn should have gone off as power was reduced below a certain MAP level, or the throttles pulled back to a certain point (engaging the power to the gear horn).
And if I’m not mistaken, when the Gear Unsafe light is lit, the gear horn is also activated.
Yet the pilot didn’t mention any of this and with the number of hours this guy has, he must have really been concerned with the weather to miss checking for 3 green to be sure he had 3 down and locked. And this indicates this guy kept his eyes outside and did not do a scan of the panel (how many times do people comment here that one needs to have their eyes outside looking and not inside on their tablet….).
Warren Webb Jr says
From what I’ve seen happen right in front of me (Seneca II) and in talking with three other pilots who had gear-up landings in singles, that is the influence that a distraction can have over the pilot, exactly what happened to this nearly 25,000 hour pilot. Distractions seem to cause a sort of short-circuit. I’m not sure that just preaching about using checklists is the solution. Training probably needs to include more realistic distractions. But that has risk too.