Observations on Landing Gear-Related Mishaps
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Information from FAA preliminary, NTSB and unofficial sources. All data ©2003, 2004 Mastery Flight Training, Inc. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for reprint permission and please use appropriate citation if quoting these data by any media.
Landing Gear Related Mishaps (LGRMs) account for NEARLY HALF of all reported mishaps involving piston-engine, retractable gear airplanes
Gear up landings (where the pilot failed to extend the gear before landing) and gear collapses (where the gear was down but for some reason did not remain down on the ground) are almost equally responsible for all but about 10% of reported LGRMs.
Known mechanical failures account for comparatively few (also about 10%) LGRMs.
Since most LGRMs as specifically excluded from NTSB reporting requirements and there is no rule requiring such mishaps be reported to the FAA (although if reported, the FAA is required to follow up), it's highly likely that even these figures are lower than actual.
Location and type of landing gear selectors and indicating systems does not appear to be significant in the nonmechanical LGRM rates. Reference the absolute values and relative rates of nonmechanical LGRMs between aircraft types with GAMA-standard and non-GAMA-standard gear selector and indicating systems. Far more important that selector position or indicating type is retractable landing gear transition training and recurrent training and discipline.
The record shows that the traditional "three times around the patch" RG checkout is insufficient for instilling a significant change in cockpit habit patterns required to avoid LGRMs.
Significantly reducing the rate of LGRMs would dramatically reduce the total general aviation accident rate, with a likely substantial reduction in insurance costs.
Future updates of the LGRM will include frequent contributory factors such as strong or gusty surface winds, electrical failure and incomplete emergency extension, dual flight instruction and touch-and-go landing practice.
Preflight and post-maintenance inspection requirement for the emergency landing gear extension handcrank.
One reader's account of a near gear-up landing, and the lessons learned.
Squat Switches and Gear Collapse Mishaps
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