Sunday, July 25, 2021

Landing Gear Not Configured: Cessna 310N, N310VD; accident occurred April 29, 2021 at Carroll County-Tolson Airport (KTSO), Carrollton, Ohio

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; North Olmsted, Ohio

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Carrollton, Ohio
Accident Number: CEN21LA205
Date & Time: April 24, 2021, 15:30 Local
Registration: N310VD
Aircraft: Cessna 310N
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Landing gear not configured
Injuries: 3 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The airline transport pilot reported that, while on downwind in the traffic pattern, he lowered the landing gear handle and verbally announced “gear down.” He looked at the cockpit indications to verify the landing gear was down and locked; however, he then shifted his attention outside of the cockpit to visually scan for three aircraft approaching and entering the traffic pattern. He reported that he did not confirm the landing gear was down and locked, as he was distracted with scanning for the other traffic. During landing, the bottom of the fuselage sustained substantial damage. A postaccident functional test of the landing gear revealed no
mechanical anomalies with the landing gear system. The pilot reported there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airframe and engines 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 confirm the landing gear was down before landing due to distraction during the Before Landing checks, which resulted in a gear-up landing. 


Personnel issues Lack of action - Pilot
Personnel issues Use of equip/system - Pilot
Personnel issues Monitoring equip/instruments - Pilot
Aircraft Main landing gear - Not used/operated

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Miscellaneous/other
Landing Landing gear not configured (Defining event)
Landing-flare/touchdown Abnormal runway contact

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline transport; Commercial; Flight instructor
Age: 62, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Multi-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): Airplane multi-engine; Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: March 31, 2021
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: December 8, 2020
Flight Time: 14500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 150 hours (Total, this make and model), 12500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 120 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 40 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N310VD
Model/Series: 310N
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1968
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 310N-0123
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: April 23, 2020 100 hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 2 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3515 Hrs at time of accident 
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C91A installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: I0-470 SERIES
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 260 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: None 
Operator Designator Code: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Visual (VMC) Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPHD,895 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 17 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 14:53 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 251°
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 7500 ft AGL
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 140°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.9 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 1.7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: New Castle, PA (UCP)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Carrollton, OH 
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 15:00 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1163 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 07/25 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4300 ft / 75 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 40.561576,-81.078333


  1. Clearly, Age related diminished mental capacity was a contributing factor.
    Hand writing analysis is evident of this as well.

    1. No bad handwriting does not indicate diminished mental capacity. Most doctors I know all have terrible handwriting. And yet they are all brilliant.

    2. Most doctors I know have gear-up-ed their aircraft as well.....

    3. "Most doctors I know have gear-up-ed their aircraft as well....."

      The ones that don't kill themselves (and others) anyway...

  2. Clearly? I reckon not. I don't see how bad handwriting is an indicator of anything important. Most people type more than they write and handwriting skill diminishes with lack of use.

    It would be nice to know recency of experience, what the passenger was doing (why didn't they notice), etc. I recently started flying a retractable gear aircraft, with an instructor, and I can see how a lack of proficiency could lead to this kind of mistake, kind of. Admittedly... I don't see how anyone could miss the "thumps" of the gear coming out, the significant change in drag, the "three green", and all of the other things that putting the gear down causes. 62 isn't that old.

  3. Clearly, another millennial anxiously awaiting the opportunity to advance themselves into a position held by a person older than themselves.

    First of all, 62 is not old. Secondly, are you a handwriting expert? How do you know what this persons handwriting looked like when they were younger? Thirdly, I agree with the person above, handwriting skills diminish over time when you type most of the time vs. write.

    As for recency of experience? Think he has plenty... 150 hrs in 310's, 120 hrs in the last 90 days all aircraft, 40 hrs last 30 days all aircraft.

    Flight Time: 14500 hours (Total, all aircraft), 150 hours (Total, this make and model), 12500 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 120 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 40 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

    This was accident was just that. An accident caused by possible complacency and more likely by being distracted at a critical time in the pattern and not using a checklist.

  4. Penmanship has nothing to do with airmanship!...and 6-2 aint' nuthin! does spelling count?

  5. "Clearly, Age related diminished mental capacity was a contributing factor. Hand writing analysis is evident of this as well."

    This comment will be forever on the internet and when you hit your 60s, it will come back to haunt you. Bet on it. That is, if your Millennial ass lives that long.


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