Rushed pilot lands with gear up, blames iPad for blocking his view of landing gear position light

The pilot of the retractable landing gear-equipped Cessna 172 reported that, during approach to the airport in Atlanta, he noticed he was a little high, so he reduced power to idle and heard an alert horn.

He quickly scanned the engine gauges and observed that the manifold pressure gauge was “pegged at the bottom with no indication.” He considered performing a go-around, but decided to land and assess the situation on the ground. The pilot landed the airplane with the landing gear retracted.

The pilot added that he did not see the landing gear position light because his iPad sitting on the yoke blocked his view.

He added that leading up to the approach and landing, the flight was fast paced, and he felt rushed, which attributed to him assuming he was in his “typical” fixed landing gear airplane.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to extend the landing gear before landing. Contributing to the accident were the pilot’s inability to see the landing gear position light because his iPad was blocking his view of it and his feeling of being rushed during the approach and landing.

NTSB Identification: 98998

This February 2019 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

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