Sightseeing pilot forgets to retract the landing gear

General Aviation News will often reprint excerpts from accident reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), including this one from April 2009 that is well worth keeping in mind should you ever take friends or family up for a sightseeing flight.

According to the excerpt, a Cessna 210 was on a two hour scenic tour flight when it returned to Moab, Utah to land. At that point:

The pilot had established the airplane on final approach and had added the initial increment of flaps for landing when he banked the airplane to point out an area of interest to his passengers. He input full flaps for landing and but did not check to make sure that the landing gear was down. The airplane landed on the runway with the landing gear retracted.

Luckily there were no injuries but the aircraft did have substantial damage.

Of course, the cause of the accident was ruled the pilot’s failure to lower the landing gear just before attempting to land. Moreover, the pilot’s self-induced distraction when he decided to do a maneuver on the final approach to show his passengers a point of interest also contributed to the accident.

In other words, the next time you take up family or friends up in the air for a sightseeing flight, remember that you still must fly the aircraft. If you want to do sightseeing, be sure you are the passenger and not the pilot!

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2 Responses to Sightseeing pilot forgets to retract the landing gear

  1. Pat Flannigan May 27, 2011 at 13:48 #

    I was trained to exhibit a sense of paranoia over the gear, compulsively stating "gear down, three green" on final. It's a good habit that I observe to this day.

    One question, how did the FAA know that the pilot was distracted sightseeing on final? Do you think he incriminated himself?

  2. Joe March 23, 2012 at 19:10 #

    Should read, "Sightseeing Pilot Forgets to EXTEND the Landing Gear."

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