Go around after contacting pavement with gear up?

FN FAL

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"WEST GOSHEN - David Nelson, a member of the board of directors at the airport, said he could see Webster making the approach to land but noticed the Saratoga's landing gear was not down.
Jay Zook, the airport's assistant manager, dove for the radio to tell Webster his gear was not down and to go around, Nelson said.
"But he was too low, the prop hit the runway," Nelson said. "You could see 50 hash marks on the runway from where the propeller hit."


NTSB said:
NTSB Identification: IAD05FA125
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, August 22, 2005 in West Chester, PA
Aircraft: Piper PA-32R-301, registration: N9285R
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors.

On August 22, 2005, about 1030 eastern daylight time, N9285R, a Piper PA-32R-301, was destroyed during impact with trees and terrain, and subsequent postcrash fire, following an aborted landing at Brandywine Airport (N99), West Chester, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, which departed North Central State Airport (SFZ), Pawtucket, Rhode Island, about 0815.

Several persons near Brandywine Airport observed the airplane during the approach, attempted landing, and aborted landing.

One witness, who was working in his shop on the north side of the airport, heard the pilot report via radio when he entered the airport area. The witness subsequently heard the pilot report his position on the downwind, base, and final legs of the traffic pattern. The witness next saw the airplane about 100 yards from the threshold of runway 27, with the flaps fully extended and the landing gear retracted. He then warned the pilot, via radio, that the airplane's landing gear was not extended.

As the witness ran toward the runway, he saw the airplane's flaps drag on the runway pavement. Shortly thereafter, he heard the engine power increase. The nose of the airplane pitched down, and the propeller contacted the runway. The airplane climbed, banked left, and struck trees located about 500 feet before the departure end of the runway.

The witness then followed the path of the airplane in his vehicle. He briefly lost sight of the airplane, and when he next saw it, he observed the engine and propeller "shaking." The airplane then disappeared from his view behind trees.

The witness stated that all of the pilot's radio transmissions were "normal," and stated specifically that the pilot did not make any distress calls, nor did he request any assistance.

Another witness, who was in his hangar on the south side of the airport, stated that he heard an unusual sound and looked up to see the airplane in a steep bank turn, at an altitude of "less than double [the] height of trees." The airplane's landing gear was extended, its speed slowed, and its pitch angle increased. He heard the engine "maintaining the sound of full power," while the airplane turned to the east. The airplane continued to slow, and the pitch angle continued to increase, as the wings leveled. The airplane then descend out of his view. Moments later he heard the sounds of impact.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight at 39 degrees, 59 minutes north latitude, 75 degrees, 34 minutes west longitude.

The airplane came to rest in a wooded area, adjacent to a reservoir, about 1/2 mile south of the airport. The initial impact point was a large tree, about 50 feet above the terrain elevation. The wreckage path was about 150 feet long, and oriented in a direction of 180 degrees magnetic. The main wreckage came to rest oriented on a 130-degree heading.
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DustMaker

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Good friend of mine was an accident investigator for 25 years

what is the first thing a pilot does after a gear up landing - pushes the gear lever and the gear tries to extend

in my plane, the mains are fixed and the nose gear is retractable. on the retract nose gear, i installed an auto extend black box. at 90 knots - it extends. it is also self testing, turn on the master switch and it extends on the ground, course i don't have to worry about a prop strike - its a pusher

I spend an evening every three or four months reading accident reports like this, scares me. On every one i try to design into my plane or, more likely, my brain - how not to have it happen to me

Read the reports - it is good to be aware, it may save you.
 

NYCPilot

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Well, I know it's cliche, but no good deed goes unpunished. If he hadn't mentioned that the gear wasn't down, perhaps all that would have been damaged was an ego, airframe, engine and propeller.

But it's also also just as likely that the pilot would have heard the scrappng sounds and initiated a go-around anyway.

I wonder how long of a runway it was. If the engine was shaking as described, he should have just put it down immediately, rather than trying to climb out.

Doesn't anyone do a GUMPS check anymore. The owner of a retract should make sure that horn works real well if you're renting it out or you're the personal owner.
 

erj-145mech

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And when Piper first introduced the PA32R series airplanes, they were equipped with landing gear auto extenders. They worked just fine and lowered the hull insurance to boot. Wish some lawyer wouldn't have talked Piper from removing them. Saved a lot of ego's and repair bills.
 

shamrock

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There was an accident a lot like this one a long while back at HFD (Hartford CT). A twin turboprop (Metro I think) forgot the gear and tried to go around after the props hit the runway. I'm not sure if one prop was more damaged than the other, but the plane did something of a Vmc roll and hit the Connecticut River inverted.

Sounds like history repeating itself unfortunately.
 

EagleRJ

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It's happened several times- someone makes propeller contact with the runway, goes around, and crashes off field because the damaged propeller comes apart or doesn't produce enough thrust.

Repairing a gear-up landing is expensive for sure, but it's the preferred option to risking your life to save the paint on the belly.
Once you hear the prop tips hitting the runway, just accept your mistake, close the throttles, and go to the nearest bar for a pint or three! It's only money- your life is worth more than that.
 

Flying Illini

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This happened at my old flight school. An instructor and a student in a BE-76. They drug the step and bent the prop tips as they went around. Came back around and landed with no issues...other than some bruised ego's and a talk with the CP. It was pretty expensive.
 

FN FAL

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DustMaker said:
in my plane, the mains are fixed and the nose gear is retractable.
A buddy of mine has a German factory built two seater with a retractible nose gear. He landed it gear up. I think it has a johnson bar set up.
 

NYCPilot

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Although in some instances a go-around can be successfully accomplished with some bent tips, perhaps it should be taught during complex training to ALWAYS land gear up once the props strike than to go-around. I know that this was never addressed during my training.

Students/renters need to be informed of the potential perils that await them on the go-around with a prop strike. Many know that it is going to be expensive to tear down the engine and repair the airframe, prop and so forth, so it seems like a very economically sensible decision. It's also very instinctual to keep the plane flying if you've scraped the plane. Most are taken by surprise and just push those levers forward.
 

dseagrav

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DustMaker said:
on steroids - Cozy - heh heh heh - see signature
Oh, duh. I should have noticed that (or bothered to check your profile...) rather than waste a post.
 

erj-145mech

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dseagrav said:
Oh, duh. I should have noticed that (or bothered to check your profile...) rather than waste a post.
for a forum monger, there's no such thing as a "wasted post"
 

dseagrav

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The reason I asked, the guy who gave me my first few flying books and such and set me on my way (so to speak) had a VariEze. He managed to kill himself with it before he could take me up for a ride, though.

It involved a very wierd coincidence; He had a bunch of magazines (I forget which one, I want to say it was some EAA magazine) that had really glossy covers, and I had to be really careful not to get fingerprints in them. He loaned me a stack of them to read while I was with my family for summer vacation. One of the issues featured a very nice Long-EZ. On the last day of vacation, on the way home, we had a sudden stop and I almost dropped the issue in question. When I grabbed it, I planted a big white thumbprint right on the airplane. I felt rotten and had no idea how I was going to explain it to him. I had even kept the magazines in a wooden box I had with me to prevent anything from happening to them. When we got home, I learned that the previous day he had crashed his airplane and died. The time of the crash and the time of the thumbprint coincided by a matter of minutes.

I ended up returning the magazines to his house a few days later, but nobody was home, and I don't think they wanted to see me anyway. I left them on the counter and disappeared.

Every once in awhile I get the urge to call them and ask whatever became of the wreck, but I don't.
 
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FN FAL

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dseagrav said:
The reason I asked, the guy who gave me my first few flying books and such and set me on my way (so to speak) had a VariEze. He managed to kill himself with it before he could take me up for a ride, though.

It involved a very wierd coincidence; He had a bunch of magazines...
No disrespect to your lost friend, but I got a whole corrugated box full of Soldier of Fortune magazines out in the garage...remind me not to borrow them to you.
 

Long Time Gone

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Once upon a time.................

There was an instructor (E.C.) at the former ATA (Airline Training Academy) at Orlando Executive Airport who knew everything and argued with all about everything. We (Chief Instructors) tried for a while to find a reason to can him, and he finally gave it to us.

On a dark, clear, Saturday night, he was in the pattern practicing night landings on rwy 07 with his student in an Aztec. During one approach, they forgot to lower the gear. As the props hit the pavement, the instructor initiated a go-around. They made left closed traffic, passed over the Fashion Square Mall (which was highly populated on Saturday nights with kids, parents, and such), turned left base over downtown Orlando (near the Sun Trust building, right on top of the then popular Church Street Station), and landed "without incident" in his words. They taxied the aircraft back to the ramp area, and parked the Aztec in it's appropriate spot like nothing happened.

As daylight came and the next business day began, it was enlightening. Both props had both tips bent backwards 90 degrees for at least the first 6 to 8 inches. The step on the right side was still there, but snapped out of it's mount so it freely swung back and forth. The ADF antenna (dome) was gone, the DME antenna, as well as the tail tie-down mount. Both engine cowlings had scrapes on the bottom.

He stated to us that he NEVER touched the ground, except for the props, and one of his "buddies" (F.G-P.) at the school also argued with us of the same, even though the "buddy" wasn't even at the school when it happened. He felt that it was in his best interest to go around and save the aircraft. He stated that the aircraft handled "perfectly normal", and had no clue that he even hit the pavement with the props (this was said even after we started up the engines and the whole aircraft wanted to shake itself apart). He never once thought about the highly populated areas of the Home Depot on the upwind, the intersection of Colonial Drive and State Hwy 436, the Mall, Church Street Station and all of the downtown bars, the neighborhood on final, etc. After that statement and the ensuing arguments, we finally had the correct opportunity to rid ourselves of him. The firing had nothing to do with the gear-up; it had all to do with the decision making process that he's lucky didn't totally fail on him (i.e. slamming into a mall on a Saturday night with upwards of 1,000 people in it, etc.), and the ensuing arguments. There were other gear-ups there; in fact, it seemed like the plague for a while. Two of the other gear-ups kept their jobs, simply because of admitted guilt and correct decision making.

Long story short, pull the mixture(s) and plant the thing on the ground. You already screwed up the engines by prop-striking them. They now HAVE to be overhauled or replaced, regardless. This latest accident is a prime example of what could happen. Luckily, in ORL, it didn't and numerous lives were spared.
 
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dseagrav

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DustMaker said:
dseagrav - have you looked up the report on the accident - good chance to learn something
Yeah, and it doesn't say anything really enlightening; He lost directional control on short final, hit a tree. inverted, then slid into a fence. He was trapped under the airplane and suffocated. His son was in the rear seat, he lived with head injuries. He was a high-time pilot (ex-military, CFI/COMM, etc.) so I don't know if it was some mistake on his part or something wrong with the airplane. (The airplane had been out of service for some time due to hail damage.)

Here's a link to the NTSB report.

(Edited)

FN FAL: The others were spotless. I should have also mentioned this was the only one I ever put a mark in.

 
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DustMaker

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Long Time Gone said:
The firing had nothing to do with the gear-up; it had all to do with the decision making process
this is the mantra - make good decisions. three things that kill pilots

knowingly flying from good weather into bad weather
fuel starvation
hot dog flying, hello chimney


not bad engine or engines, not bad landings or bad takeoffs, but BAD decisions

same every year
 
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