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Landing gear malfunction

Asked by: 1664 views
Aircraft Systems

Looking for advice when dealing with an issue of landing gear indicating "down". On a recent XC, I lowered the gear on midfield downwind and did not receive the indication of left main being down. I verified the light was good and also cycled the gear several times to no avail.

I then consulted the POH and was not really provided with any "helpful" info concerning landing with one main gear not being deployed. I did try the manual gear deployment as well as slowing the aircraft down and still failed to receive the indication of left main being down.

I was finally able to receive the proper indications after several more attempts to lower the gear while slowly banking into the affected side. The gear was "visually" verified by a nearby aircraft so I landed without incident although I significantly slowed my landing speed and lowered right wing slightly in the event I suffered a gear collapse.

Bottom line is what would have been the preferred method for landing if 1 of your main gear is not extended? Should you opt for a gear up landing to avoid increased risk of being unstable and dragging a wing once touching down? If the gear appears lowered by tower or ground but fails to provide an indication, should "normal" landing be attempted in the event you have a bad switch or wiring? A lot of food for thought. I was lucky I landed without incident but this definitely gave me some pause for a what I would do in the future. Of note, the aircraft in question had no mirrors to provide visual indication of gear down from the cockpit and I did squawk this occurrence to the A&P for inspection prior to the next flight.

I look forward to the impending answers even if they confirm what I may or may not already know.




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1 Answers

  1. Dmitriy on Feb 23, 2015

    Usually what I teach my students is that if you are unable to get one of the main landing gear down that it is better to land gear up. Otherwise, the way I see it, you risk the plane doing a hard turn spiral on landing, and potentially breaking the wing here all of the fuel is, potentially causing further problems. If you do this, you will have to make the choice of whether or not to shut down the engine(s) prior to touchdown. Either way the prop will most likely hit the ground, but at that point you have other concerns.

    The airplane will do much better skidding on its belly surface, and you’ll have more control over its direction. You’ll see on youtube that’s what most people actually end up doing (unless you’re looking at something that has multiple main wheels like a Boeing 747).

    I actually had a similar problem happen to me recently, but I was around a towered airport. I had the tower confirm the gear seemed down and I could also confirm the gear warning horn was not activated. What ended up happening was the down limit switch on the main was broken, but the gear worked fine, so I landed with the gear down anyway. Basically, make sure you can have a way of confirming whether or not its a light issue, gear issue or switch issue.

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