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Guest Tim757

Real flying question for real pilots..

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I'm wondering what would you do if the retractable undercarriage fails to come down while your in the circuit. Assuming you've done all the things possible to solve the problem, would you:keep on flying to burn off most of the fuel, or would you land with fuel in the tanks?I'm thinking that it might be wise to land with fuel in the tanks because it's the fuel vapours that risk explosion.What do you think?http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/73452.jpghttp://www.onlinesimulationsolutions.com/Athlon 64 3000, 19dba Zalman CPU fan, MSI K8T-NEO, 1GB PC3200 DDR400, HIS Excalibur 9800 Pro 128mb, 60GB HD.Trainee Airline Pilot (Completing PPL, ATPL this year).

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You have to remember that fuel gauges on most GA aircraft are not that reliable under 1/4 full. So, with that said, I would not burn fuel down to the minimum and risk losing the engine and thus landing short. When there is absolutely no way to land with the gear down, it is the pilot's discretion on what to do. Personally, I would set up the approach, follow the appropriate checklist, switch everything off, crack the door (if possible), cut the engine/feather props, belly in, and get out. If done properly, you shouldn't have to worry about fuel exploding as the fuselage should have minimal damage if you land properly on the runway, not the grass. A helpful option is to fly to an airport with a rescue center and have them "foam" the runway. Of course fire is always a possibility, but you don't want to present yourself with the problem of fuel starvation and not making the runway.

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Considering the number of forgetful gear up landings where there is no emergency in light aircraft this is somewhat academic assuming a good approach and what the pilot thought was a good landing. (I realize heavies could be a different matter).Remember a Comanche coming in with what might be interpreted as a semi-emergency. Two pilots in the back seat, and two in the front (one a fellow CFI He He he). All swore everything was kosher, they had green lights and that the plane failed until the A&E Mechanic pointed out a blown circuit breaker. (Gear extention speed exceeded). Push the breaker back in, and everything worked perfectly.Another case, whatever the old Beechcraft tandum bird was that the CAP used to fly (don't remember the correct designation with my old memory). My cousin and another were doing the old thing of sucking the gear up before they really started their climb. Disaster, after the scisors were released they bounced the nose gear slightly. Result: Broken link and no nose gear.It is amazing as someone else has already pointed out, how little damage is done with a smooth belly landing. To the naked eye, one might not even notice it once the gear is chocked back into position.I'm sure there are a million such stories for those who have, and those who are going to as the old cliche goes.Happy flying:RTH

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I have had two gear failures that resulted in non-standard manual gear extensions. The first was in a Comanche where the actual gear mechanism froze in place. The second was in a Saratoga when after the gear pump failed the nose gear jammed part way down while doing a manual gear extension. In both cases I was almost certain I would be making a gear up or partial gear up landing. I was eventually able to get the gear down and locked for each instance.I did have a game plan if I had to do a gear up. The fuel issue is not all that critical in a light GA aircraft. You do want to land at an airport that has crash trucks in the event that something goes wrong (and you would obviously declare an emergency and request that the trucks be ready). If you read up on the NTSB statistics it is much better to put the aircraft down on the skid rails on pavement as opposed to on grass. On the hard surface you are almost certainly just going to slide. On a soft surface there is a much higher chance of catching part of the aircraft and going out of control.If I had plenty of runway and conditions were favorable I would try and stop the prop during the flare once I was committed to landing (obviously this prevents a go around, so it can only be don

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Depends, some planes have fail safe gear. By this I mean if the hydraulics fail on a hydraulic gear system, the gear automatically falls because it needs the hydraulic pump to hold them up.

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Yep depends on the aircraft. We(P-3's) will game plan the landing prior to landing. Back in 1980, had a P-3 up in Adak Alaska . They couldn't get the nose to go "down & locked" What they did was, they came in as was a normal landing. Put the main mounts down on the numbers, and kept the nose in the air. Once the mains touched down the F/E fuel chopped the inboard engines, then the Pilot set the nose down. They used the outboard engines as brakes and then bagged them when they came to a stop.

http://www.centerseat.net/SG2one.jpghttp://www.centerseat.net/Sg2two.jpgThey did have a small fire when an APU fuel line was ruptured...http://www.centerseat.net/Sg2three.jpghttp://www.centerseat.net/Sg2four.jpg
:-outta
There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness".- unknown
"My daddy gives me up, to fight for you"- a US Military Members Child

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I have had trouble before with the gear in a C-172RG. We were not getting any positive indication that our gear was locked down. We did a low pass by tower and finaly just went ahead and landed. When we touched down all the gear lights lit up. Come to find out there was a short in the panel to the lights. :) Also have landed with a busted shimy dampner. Talk about a rough ride it felt like the nose of the plane was bouncing off the ground.

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>Depends, some planes have fail safe gear. By this I mean if>the hydraulics fail on a hydraulic gear system, the gear>automatically falls because it needs the hydraulic pump to>hold them up.There is no such thing as fail-safe gear (unless it is welded down). The Saratoga I had the issue in was a hydraulic system. The pressure dump worked, but the nose gear jammed. I know of several other Piper partial gear up landings. All had a "fail safe" hydraulic system.Just because the pressure dumps in a hydraulic system does not guarantee that the gear will lock into place. It will certainly drop. Old springs, a stiff J Hook, or other problems can prevent a proper lock and these are items that would probably go unnoticed during a proper pre-flight (unless you are a A&P). With my Saratoga incident I practically had to do aerobatics to get the nose gear to finally lock.

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>>There is no such thing as fail-safe gear (unless it is welded>down). The Saratoga I had the issue in was a hydraulic>system. The pressure dump worked, but the nose gear jammed. >I know of several other Piper partial gear up landings. All>had a "fail safe" hydraulic system.>>Just because the pressure dumps in a hydraulic system does not>guarantee that the gear will lock into place. It will>certainly drop. Old springs, a stiff J Hook, or other>problems can prevent a proper lock and these are items that>would probably go unnoticed during a proper pre-flight (unless>you are a A&P). With my Saratoga incident I practically had>to do aerobatics to get the nose gear to finally lock. >>>>Why is it that there always has to be someone that has to try and prove other people wrong on these forums. After 3500 hours in the King Air alone, I think I MAY have an idea what I am talking about.

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Here's one possible solution. Hehehe.

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>Why is it that there always has to be someone that has to try>and prove other people wrong on these forums. After 3500 hours>in the King Air alone, I think I MAY have an idea what I am>talking about.Oh my what a touchy person. With 3500 hours in the King air you should be the first to say that no aviation system is full proof. I was not attacking your answer... just adding some personal thoughts.And I will see your 3500hrs in the king air and raise ya 5000 hours in the B1900. As if that is remotely relevant! Aviation is no place for attitude. Fly safe.

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Amen on the 3500 hrs seen-it-all attitude. Always love to get that statement from an applicant when I get stuck doing Captain board interviews. Normally after that I give a hypothetical based on EAL401 with 4 high-time crew members and a gear problem....a few still miss that scenerio.So if you raise him 5000 is that 8,500 to me?Just an aside, does he 1900 have hydraulic gear or is it those goofy torque-tubes like the KA200? I had a gear get hung due to a torque tube thead stripping out in an old E90, down-n-locked so I didn't have to scrap the paint.As far as the original gear-up question-the first thing any great flier does when he gets qualified in a new plane, be it a J3 Cub or 777 is get a geat grasp on any and all systems involved in that aircraft. Then go back from time-to-time to review them. Saves a ton of cramming at a flight review or PCs with the airline.Then go to the abnormal section of the aircraft manual and plow thru those while you are bored enroute to the Orient or stuck waiting weather at your local grass-roots airports. When you NEED them is not the time to fumble through them. There is no "Pause" button in real world.Both these will raise your awareness when the dreaded green light stays out and you have to start trouble-shooting. REMEMBER TO FLY THE PLANE! (Eastern 401)Then I'd communicate with ATC confessing to the irregularity-not only will the specialist keep a closer eye on you but he may have connections to a mechanic or another pilot on freq that could "help" with an extra set of eyes or ideas. At this point it is the "pilot's" show. Now is the time all that reading and studying comes to aid you in making your decisions. At some point (normally 1/4 tanks in a light a/c as pointed out earlier) you will have to "call the play" and agree to a plan. Then follow the manual, try to minimize damage and walk away from it (unless you smell avgas then I suggest sprinting!).Another avenue you might wish to explore is review the accidents and incidents on the NTSB or FAA websites (WWW.NTSB.GOV or WWW.FAA.GOV). In there are rather well researched root cause analysis of accidents and incidents faced by real pilots-and a great place to think "What would I have done?"The one thing I can say after being around airplanes since '74 is I am still learning something new every time I am at the airport.Tim757

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