philiplane

six gear collapses & gear ups in one week

Recommended Posts

This is the one area where we can control insurance premiums. Preventing landing gear accidents. Six Mooneys in one week's time have either geared up or had collapses after landing. Is there something going around?

For comparison, the Mooney fleet had 39 gear incidents in all of 2019.

Edited by philiplane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Members that donate $10 or more do not see advertisements*

1 hour ago, J0nathan225 said:

JEEZ! or trying to get a write off check? <_<

It’s an easier sale to the insurance company than anywhere else.  The commission cheque is lower and no tire kickers.

Clarence

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was looking at these yesterday as I typically do after most weekends and was surprised to see 3 of them over this past weekend!  An R, a J and an E model. The latter E model was reported as a collapse. 

I doubt anyone does these intentionally. In fact I hate to distract from the real problem IMO that as a community of pilot owners we don't do a good enough job at avoiding gear mishaps.

Often new registrations make up a majority of these. But only the E model fits into this category - oddly it shows a registration date in the future but i suspect the month and day got transposed and it was just registered in March.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what seems like a couple lifetimes ago in the Air Force, at least in trainers and fighters (don't know about big airplanes), we always had to make a radio call that included 'gear down'.  Something like "Auburn traffic, Mooney 1CB, left base 34, gear down, full stop, Auburn traffic."

Maybe verbalizing it to the world might help just a little.  And on the rare occasion when we are holding short of the runway, we can help each other by confirming an aircraft on final has wheels down and say something if they don't.

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It’s an easier sale to the insurance company than anywhere else.  The commission cheque is lower and no tire kickers.
Clarence

I’m surprised the insurance companies don’t exclude gear ups except in cases of engine failures resulting in off airport landings.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, ArtVandelay said:


I’m surprised the insurance companies don’t exclude gear ups except in cases of engine failures resulting in off airport landings.

Or, one could opt for an exclusion for the same with a lower rate???

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From what seems like a couple lifetimes ago in the Air Force, at least in trainers and fighters (don't know about big airplanes), we always had to make a radio call that included 'gear down'.  Something like "Auburn traffic, Mooney 1CB, left base 34, gear down, full stop, Auburn traffic."
Maybe verbalizing it to the world might help just a little.  And on the rare occasion when we are holding short of the runway, we can help each other by confirming an aircraft on final has wheels down and say something if they don't.
We still do that in the AF and we are not allowed to roll off the perch or go inside the FAF without gear down and confirmed. I also apply that to my civilian flying. Also, a crusty WWII pilot taught me a long time ago that always check your gear one last time going over the overun/fence as that's your last chance reasonably to catch it.

BTW, I still call my gear down Mooney flying (not required) because I do both mil and civ flying and try to keep my habit pattern the same.

Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if they are still doing it, but when I was living up north and flew into KMRB, a joint civilian and ANG facility, the tower controller would always call "Mooney 6091Q check wheels down, cleared to land".  Although it is not ATC's job to keep us from screwing up, it was always appreciated.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have my Garmin GPS set to give me a 500 feet alert on the intercom. I made it a habit to call out ‘landing gear down’ out loud when I get the 500 feet alert as a last reminder I case I miss it well before that.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Verbal call outs, call outs to tower, check lists, audible gear warning system - bitchin' Betty I have,  checking 3 times, checking the floor indicator, all good - but there is nothing even all together that can stop the fool from being a fool  forever.  And we can all be a fool. First step in trying to not be a fool is to humbly admit we can be a fool on a bad day so get with it and try not to be a fool and read the first sentence above again.

I saw a M20C once have a gear collapse.

There was a CFI and a CFI-DPE around here once about 10 years ago, together the cockpit of a twin - and they had a gear up.  From that day - I know - knock on wood...

Nobody is doing gear ups for the insurance write off.  usually unless its a very low low value plane, it won't be a write-off.  Certainly not an R.  Usually not a J.  Maybe not an E.  I bet these are just mistakes.  Maybe rust of pandemic.  Maybe just a statistical fluctuation related to nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, irishpilot said:

BTW, I still call my gear down Mooney flying (not required) because I do both mil and civ flying and try to keep my habit pattern the sam

I do this too.  Plus, the gear is the best drag device on the airplane. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, whiskytango said:

I don't know if they are still doing it, but when I was living up north and flew into KMRB, a joint civilian and ANG facility, the tower controller would always call "Mooney 6091Q check wheels down, cleared to land".  Although it is not ATC's job to keep us from screwing up, it was always appreciated.

It's in their interest to do it, especially if they have readiness requirements and a single runway, as one mistake by a GA airplane could close the runway for longer than they want to be closed.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, aviatoreb said:

Verbal call outs, call outs to tower, check lists, audible gear warning system - bitchin' Betty I have,  checking 3 times, checking the floor indicator, all good - but there is nothing even all together that can stop the fool from being a fool  forever.  And we can all be a fool. First step in trying to not be a fool is to humbly admit we can be a fool on a bad day so get with it and try not to be a fool and read the first sentence above again.

This is succinctly stated in one of my favorite manufacturing axioms:  Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

It pays to keep this in mind when writing Procedure and Work Instructions, as well as doing poka-yoke reviews . . . . Of which the johnson bar could be called a type, but one that also still has failures (because the operators are all human).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am curious how someone can become configured for landing approach speed without lowering the gear. It seems necessary for me to to lower the gear just to help get slowed down.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Hoeschen said:

I am curious how someone can become configured for landing approach speed without lowering the gear. It seems necessary for me to to lower the gear just to help get slowed down.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Fly a thousand hours and I bet you will have a time that may well break through one or more of your just in case layers of fool proof.  Maybe a go around called by tower.  Maybe a bad day. Maybe a distracting passenger.  Maybe tower tells you to keep up speed in sequence which means leaving your gear until late - don't forget to get that gear down then!  Maybe you are practicing for your commercial license and working a power-off precision landing for the 10th time in a row and these require keeping the gear up until late....but don't forget to get that gear down.  Even though I am 99.999% of the time very very careful, I have found myself to be only very careful...to have found myself on final realizing - wait - my gear is still up.  I could see how it could happen.   Speed brakes btw help slow you down but also can interfere with the need to have gear down to get to flap speed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve had the “opportunity” to use the manual gear extension procedure twice (for real).  Both times, I had an instructor along.  The first was during my transition training (switch failed).  The second time I was working on my commercial certificate doing pattern work and we didn’t catch it until we were about to turn base and noticed something didn’t feel right.  Mechanic didn’t find anything, but I was having intermittent issues with the voltage regulator.

The second time really shook me up.  Would I have caught it if I hadn’t had another pilot or if the workload had been higher?  I changed my procedure so that my hand doesn’t come off the gear switch until I verify that the gear is down is down and locked.  The DPE complimented me on the practice during my check ride.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fly a thousand hours and I bet you will have a time that may well break through one or more of your just in case layers of fool proof.  Maybe a go around called by tower.  Maybe a bad day. Maybe a distracting passenger.  Maybe tower tells you to keep up speed in sequence which means leaving your gear until late - don't forget to get that gear down then!  Maybe you are practicing for your commercial license and working a power-off precision landing for the 10th time in a row and these require keeping the gear up until late....but don't forget to get that gear down.  Even though I am 99.999% of the time very very careful, I have found myself to be only very careful...to have found myself on final realizing - wait - my gear is still up.  I could see how it could happen.   Speed brakes btw help slow you down but also can interfere with the need to have gear down to get to flap speed.

Valid points, I suppose it’s most likely these situations that will cause a gear up. An IMC approach also comes to mind, diligence to use a checklist will help.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Hoeschen said:

I am curious how someone can become configured for landing approach speed without lowering the gear. It seems necessary for me to to lower the gear just to help get slowed down.

I found this out, with several hundred Mooney hours, going into my 3rd (?) Mooney Summit with my wife. It was a long, curving GPS approach over the bay, in IMC, the only curved GPS approach that I've still ever flown. Keeping on track with the curve, being excited to get there, I missed the little lightning bolt and X on the plate and kept the gear safely tucked away.

But it was weird--I was legally current but not so proficient, as I could maintain either speed or glideslope but not both. On slope, I was rather fast (even with Takeoff flaps), and on speed I was high. It wasn't until we broke out at about 1000 msl or and I saw the field and those white lights beside the runway that I realized the gear was still up. Slowed down, dropped gear, went full flaps, still couldn't get down. But Tower was nice and cleared me for a VFR go around with left traffic and the second approach was successful.

It can happen to any of us, at any time . . . . 

Had I been lower, I should have caught it on my short final, point at the floor indicator, gear check. Right?

Edited by Hank
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As hard as we may try not to.........unfortunately,  we are all susceptible.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hank said:

I found this out, with several hundred Mooney hours, going into my 3rd (?) Mooney Summit with my wife. It was a long, curving GPS approach over the bay, in IMC, the only curved GPS approach that I've still ever flown. Keeping on track with the curve, being excited to get there, I missed the little lightning bolt and X on the plate and kept the gear safely tucked away.

But it was weird--I was legally current but not so proficient, as I could maintain either speed or glideslope but not both. On slope, I was rather fast (even with Takeoff flaps), and on speed I was high. It wasn't until we broke out at about 1000 msl or and I saw the field and those white lights beside the runway that I realized the gear was still up. Slowed down, dropped gear, went full flaps, still couldn't get down. But Tower was nice and cleared me for a VFR go around with left traffic and the second approach was successful.

It can happen to any of us, at any time . . . . 

Had I been lower, I should have caught it on my short final, point at the floor indicator, gear check. Right?

I have occasionally used a slip to lose altitude rapidly during a high approach.  With that said, it may be uncomfortable for passengers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.