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Thread: Landing Gear Lessons

  1. #1

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    Landing Gear Lessons

    There's a good way to lower gear as you come to the pattern, not fool proof but close. Do we need this? Recently 2 ATP? CFI landed a Bonanza with full flaps down and gear fully up. And yes they knew GUMPS and had a checklist, they got distracted.
    Let's simplify to one item, the only one required to make the landing, silly as it may sound is the landing gear. MAKE IT THE FIRST ITEM YOU DO WHEN COMING TO THE RUNWAY OR PATTERN, aS YOU TURN ONTO DOWWIND, LOWER THE GEAR AND VERIFY IT GREEN LIGTHS DOWN.
    What if you don't go on downwind, like flying an instrument approach? Still, 5 miles out or 3 miles or wherever, iAF, lower the landing gear, AND DO THIS BEFORE YOU DO PARTIAL FLAPS OR PITOT HEAT OR ANYTHING ELSE
    So what happened to the G in Gumps representing gas? If I am going cross country before I descend from alitiude, I switch to fullest fuel tank, I do not want to be head down and doing this in the midddle of an ILS nor a 800 agl on downwind, And I dont run the tank down to the last few gallons.
    As I go down to the pattern I have only that one thing to concentrate on , lowering the gear when my speed allows and verify. I have caught it 3 times when not actually down , no green lights. . Once gear is down I can check correct approach speed or other items like prop forward or boost pump on if needed, and flaps as needed. only the gear is critical, less you are landing on a carrier.
    PS and for taxi once again only the gear down is critical. You can even forget the pitot cover and it will taxi just fine or flaps up or down.

    Some military training bases will remind the pilot to check the gear, always the gear not any other item from checklist. And larger planes may lower flaps to slow to gear speed, that's another subject.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 09-01-2020 at 10:59 AM.

  2. #2

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    A solution proposed in the Bonanza case was to retrofit a 2nd warning kit, which alerts you if you lower flaps with gear up. Well enough, but why not just leave flaps and anything else alone UNITL YOU HAVE LOWERED GEAR AND VERIFYED IT DOWN!! Why try to make anything else primary like partial flaps?

  3. #3
    BusyLittleShop's Avatar
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    If I ever owned a aircraft with retractable gear I'd install Delrin
    crash strips down the length of the belly and wings just in case I
    fail or the gear fails to lower and lock...

  4. #4
    Mayhemxpc's Avatar
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    Of course gear first is a great idea, except when it isn’t. Some airplanes with relatively low Vlo pretty much need to drop the first increment of flaps to be able to slow down to lower the gear. I find that I am usually in that position when sliding into the pattern. The same was true when I flew an early model Baron. There is always the landing gear horn. They are designed to be pretty annoying. (I got distracted from lowering the gear because of the horn blaring at me.)

    for Larry: the O-2A is equipped with skids on the bottom in case of a gear up landing. It even has lifting eyes on the top to pick it up again! Props and engines are still goners.

    So Bill, your sequence is, slow down, gear down, then everything else. Who can argue with that?
    Chris Mayer
    N424AF
    www.o2cricket.com

  5. #5
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Being that my gear is down and glued, I've got no dog in this hunt. Bill's suggestion sounds reasonable. However, you do see some cases where folks retract the gear on a go-around, and forget to re-extend it.

    The downside is if a lazy pilot takes the mindset that "I always lower the gear first thing" and they don't bother to recheck. It's still important to be checking position all the way around in the pattern, no matter where the handle is actuated.

    I've always thought dummy gear switches should be installed in all GA trainers.

    Ron Wanttaja

  6. #6
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    My instructor drilled in to me that not making an audible callout on short final was a fatal sin. Even when I have had engine failures, I called did that check (the first time I might have otherwise not had the gear down).

  7. #7
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    My instructor drilled in to me that not making an audible callout on short final was a fatal sin. Even when I have had engine failures, I called did that check (the first time I might have otherwise not had the gear down).
    Best story I heard along those lines was from a guy who would point at the gear indicator lights, and loudly announce, "I've got three green lights."

    One day a pilot passenger said, "No, you don't." Again, a case where things had become automatic...he said the words, but didn't actually examine the lights. His passenger saved him from a gear-up.

    Ron Wanttaja

  8. #8
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    My favorite was my instructor was flying with a student once and all the way down final the gear horn was beeping away. He suggested that if the student advanced the throttle a bit that beeping would go away. The student did. Buzz always had more patience in letting students near gear up than I would. My wife was about to do it when she was doing her Navion transition. I knew he was going to wait until the last moment but it bugged hte hell out of me.

    Yes, doing things "automatically" will get you in toruble, but I know guys who methodically drop the gear abeam the numbers or at the FAF and never check it again who get screwed if something interrupts to those checks. Rechecking your GUMPS on final while not fool proof is a good last minute check of everything.

  9. #9
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Back in the early 80s I had the unfortunate opportunity to watch a P-3 at NAS Barbers Point go gear up after executing a go-around for an F-4 that had declared low fuel status. During the go-around the crew had raised the gear and the Flight Engineer had punched off the gear warning horn. They made it all the way around the pattern right up to the point of impact before they realized their mistake. I always re-run GUMP On final and report 3 Down & Locked.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  10. #10
    melann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Being that my gear is down and glued, I've got no dog in this hunt. Bill's suggestion sounds reasonable. However, you do see some cases where folks retract the gear on a go-around, and forget to re-extend it.
    The downside is if a lazy pilot takes the mindset that "I always lower the gear first thing" and they don't bother to recheck. It's still important to be checking position all the way around in the pattern, no matter where the handle is actuated.
    I've always thought dummy gear switches should be installed in all GA trainers.
    Ron Wanttaja
    When I built my RV-6 in the early '90s, I installed a gear switch, horn, and light. The switch was on the flap handle. If I pulled one notch of flaps with the gear up, it hollered at me. In over 27 years of flying that airplane, I NEVER landed "gear-up"!
    Mel, DAR since the Last Century, Specializing in Light-Sport and Experimental Aircraft.

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