Sunday, May 05, 2019

Landing Gear Not Configured: Piper PA-24-250 Comanche, N7893P, accident occurred July 29, 2018 at Evanston-Uinta County Burns Field (KEVW), Uinta County, Wyoming

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket  - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Evanston, WY
Accident Number: GAA18CA462
Date & Time: 07/29/2018, 1445 MDT
Registration: N7893P
Aircraft: Piper PA24
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear not configured
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot in the retractable landing gear-equipped airplane reported that, during the cross-country flight, the autopilot failed, and he struggled to use the sectional charts. He added that heat and wind made the flight uncomfortable, and smoke from wildland fires decreased visibility to about 5 statute miles, so he decided to land. He completed some of the GUMPS (gas [proper tank selected], undercarriage [gear down], mixture [full mix for landing], and propeller [high rpm setting]) checklist and decided not to extend the landing gear to have better control. Upon arrival at the airport, he decided to leave the landing gear retracted as he searched for the windsock on the airport, but he could not find it. Subsequently, he attempted to contact the airport on the Unicom frequency, but he later determined that he had used an incorrect frequency. He decided to land on runway 5, which he later identified was the incorrect runway given the wind direction. He forgot to extend the landing gear before landing.  

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the longerons and bulkheads.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to extend the landing gear during landing. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's distraction and his failure to complete the appropriate checklist before landing.


Gear extension and retract sys - Not used/operated (Cause)

Personnel issues
Use of equip/system - Pilot (Cause)
Forgotten action/omission - Pilot (Cause)
Use of checklist - Pilot (Factor)
Attention - Pilot (Factor)

Factual Information

History of Flight



Landing gear not configured (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 80, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/11/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/17/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2356.2 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1575 hours (Total, this make and model), 2307.3 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 22 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N7893P
Model/Series: PA24 250
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1962
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 24-3122
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/11/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2900 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4000 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-540 SER
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 250 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KEVW, 7163 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 122°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  9 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 15 knots / 25 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 320°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.33 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 29°C / -6°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Rawlins, WY (KRWL)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Compton, CA (KCPM)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1200 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Evanston-Uinta County Burns Fi (EVW)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 7143 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 05
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 7300 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Straight-in

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 41.274722, -111.034722 (est)

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