Distracted pilot forgets to extend landing gear

The pilot in the retractable landing gear-equipped Piper PA28 reported that during a straight-in approach to the Hutchinson, Kansas airport, the airplane’s approach angle was too high.

He recalled that he was distracted by an increase in aircraft operating in the area, and that he forgot to extend the airplane’s landing gear.

The airplane landed with the landing gear retracted and slid off the right side of the runway before it came to rest.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the lower fuselage.

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

Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to extend the landing gear before landing.

NTSB Identification: 99268

SAFE CFI Commentary

Asking ourselves questions – reflecting after action – is one of the most powerful learning tools – even when our flight is successful. This “after action de-brief” prevents embedding potentially harmful habits that may bite us later. SAFE‘s Master CFIs review these NTSB Accident Reports published in General Aviation News to provide questions and suggestions for improvement.

A new low-time pilot (no established habits and SOPs) was overcome with distractions; traffic, pax, out of position (high and switching runways). So many warnings here that a go-around was needed!

This April 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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