gear malfunction


Well-Known Member
Funniest thing happened today...I mentioned to a friend that I have been flying an awful lot lately and wondered when something was going to sneak up and happen to me in the air. Well, as luck would have it tonite would be the night. i went out for some pattern work in the arrow after dark. I took off and turned left downwind. abeam the numbers i dropped the gear....butonly two greens. the right main wasnt lighting up. so, i recycled the gear. again, same thing. by this time i am extended downwind so i advise tower. they authorize a flyby, but it is too dark for them to see. so, i climb back out and continue trouble shooting. i recyle the gear again...same thing. i check the bulbs. i try fishtailing and slipping the airplane while on downwind. Tower has a helicopter in the pattern who is trying to get a look at me. AS i turn base for my 2nd flyby the light flickers continuously. i slow to about 80knots abeam the tower and as i add full power and pull up the light comes on. by now the helicopter is trailing me and i advise i have green but would like visual confirmation. as i cross a lit parking lot they noted thre was "something hanging down". so, i said i would take her home.....landing was as soft as i could make it and i rolled out slowly. wheni got in the fbo they said they could hear the ground controller telling other a/c they might need to close the runway. i thanked the controller, and he told me to thank god. definitely not the way i wanted my first pseudo-emergency to happen--alone at night---but couldnt have asked for a better outcome. But on a sour note, the arrow is the only complex plane in our flight looks like i am putting off that checkride for a while.
Good job handling the situation!
My pseudo-emergency last week was having a window pop open on climb-out (172)
Excellent work Triple 7

Now, what did you learn or take away from the situation?
It seems like my door pops open on climbout every time

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I actually had a friend die when his door popped open. Well, there was more than that, but the door popping open was the first event in what would become a disastrous sequence.

Good job, triple 7!
It's kinda nice now to know how you can handle a situation like that. I had the same thing happen to me about 3 weeks ago, also in an Arrow. We did a low approach and tower confirmed one main appeared down and locked, the other main was about half-way down and the nose gear up. Went out and did an emer gear extension and they came right down. After we got back home the mechanics cycled the gear about 30 times and everything worked fine. There had been snow on the runway so we decided the gear must have been frozen in the up position. We never want these things to happen to us, but at least we hopefully are able to walk away having learned something...I know I did.

nice job triple 7
Yeah, i knew that the gear was probably dangling and just wasnt locked. i was hoping that the fishtailing would lock it in place. gave me the confidence now that i do have training and that if something were to happen i wouldnt freeze up, but could rather go through the motions and run the checklists and get back on the ground safely. i guess the cent. force from the left turn on the right main is what moved it and made the light flicker, then the force of full power and pulling up locked it in place. complex aircraft=more toys=more things that can go wrong.
complex aircraft=more toys=more things that can go wrong.

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Good job though.
the only "emergency" i had so far was when i was working on pattern works w/ my instructor and experienced carb icing...C152 just doesn't climb well at about 1900RPM...
Great work triple7. Maybe I missed it in the original post, but what type of airplane were you flying? I had a similair experience a few months ago in a seneca, but I had to pull the emergency gear extension to get 3 green. In any event it sounds like you handled things well, took your time to troubleshoot the situation thoroughly, and used all available resources. Congrats on getting it down safely.