Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Landing Gear Not Configured: Mooney M20E, N7845V; accident occurred July 22, 2018 at Great Falls International Airport (KGTF), Cascade County, Montana

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Helena

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N7845V

Location: Great Falls, MT
Accident Number: GAA18CA438
Date & Time: 07/22/2018, 0915 MDT
Registration: N7845V
Aircraft: Mooney M20E
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear not configured
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

Analysis

The pilot reported that they were conducting a "familiarization/instructional flight" in the retractable-gear airplane and that this was his first flight with the instructor.

After practicing commercial maneuvers, they entered the traffic pattern, and the instructor wanted to acquaint himself with the "Johnson bar"-style landing gear system. The "Johnson bar" (manually operated retraction/extension handle) is pulled up to extend the landing gear and pushed down to retract the landing gear. The instructor then pushed the Johnson bar down in what he thought was the landing gear extended position. The pilot added that, although he twice verified that the landing gear was extended, the airplane landed with the landing gear retracted.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The flight instructor reported that the flight was briefed as a "familiarization" flight because he was unfamiliar with the airplane. He added that the pilot had time in the airplane, and the intent was for him to become familiar with the performance and limitations of the airplane before he began conducting commercial training for the pilot. He added that he became distracted with the operation of the flaps and did not verify the landing gear position indicator lights located on the left side of the cockpit. He also added that he did not hear the gear warning horn.

The pilot and flight instructor 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 flight instructor's incorrect use of the landing gear system and his and the pilot's failure to ensure that the landing gear was extended, which resulted in a gear-up landing. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor's unfamiliarity with the airplane.

Findings

Aircraft
Gear extension and retract sys - Incorrect use/operation (Cause)

Personnel issues
Use of equip/system - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)
Monitoring equip/instruments - Student pilot (Cause)
Monitoring equip/instruments - Instructor/check pilot (Cause)
Knowledge of equipment - Instructor/check pilot (Factor)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing
Landing gear not configured (Defining event)
Abnormal runway contact

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 27, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/04/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/01/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 300.7 hours (Total, all aircraft), 24.4 hours (Total, this make and model), 300.7 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 36.6 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 19.8 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Flight Instructor Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 07/13/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/18/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2485 hours (Total, all aircraft), 0 hours (Total, this make and model), 2388 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Mooney
Registration: N7845V
Model/Series: M20E No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1964
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 466
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/12/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2575 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6447.87 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-360-A2A
Registered Owner: Kevin D. Birky
Rated Power: 200 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: KGTF, 3657 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1553 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 241°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 230°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.25 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 4°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Great Falls, MT (GTF)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Great Falls, MT (GTF)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0800 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: GREAT FALLS INTL (GTF)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 3680 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 21
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 10502 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 47.482500, -111.356667 (est)

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