gear up landing...

Flying_Corporal

New Member
As a flight instructor for a P141 school I was flying with a CP student in a C-172RG in early Dec 2003 (just a few days ago). After a few lazy 8s and chandelles, we decided to do ground reference maneuvers. The student extended flaps and the gear, however only the nose and the left wheels came down, leaving the right gear in the up position. Hmm, I thought, not a big deal, we'll just manually extend it when we go back.

Half-hour later we headed back. We tried to lower the gear yet the same thing happened again. We ran through the emergency checklist several times but without any success. Pumping it or lowering it using electrical pump brought only two wheels down. The right gear trailed behind parallel to the fuselage.

Well, I declared an emergency and headed back to the airport. When we got switched from the approach to the tower, the frequency was eerily quiet for a busy Class D airport around NYC. We were cleared for a direct base and a low approach following my request to visually confirm the state of our gear. The tower reported that the nose and left gear "appeared" to be down, while the right gear was up.

Considering landing on two wheels or on the belly I opted for the latter thinking that even though the prop would get damaged I would still avoid spinning the a/c on the ground. I asked for the second low approach and we rehearsed with my student what each one of us would do.

I placed the gloves between the doors and the fuselage to prevent any jamming. On the base we threw our headsets on the backseat to avoid any injury that they could cause us. On the short final I shutdown the engine, and like agreed, the student promptly turned the master, ignition and fuel to off positions.

Two things happened, one of which I hadn't anticipated. I knew the prop would keep spinning after the engine shutdown, and it did. However, the airspeed started falling very rapidly despite the same glide angle (Thinking about it later, I believe it happened because of the drag of the windmilling prop). To prevent the a/c from stalling, I nosed down, flared over the runway, the plane immediately stalled, then prop hit the ground, screeching, and the a/c came to a full stop wings leveled in what seemed a very short distance . Almost immediately fire fighters swooped in, forcing us to quickly get away from the a/c.

The mechanic later told me that the rod that pushes the gear up and down broke in two because of the metal fatigue.

Interesting thought: one high-time retired pilot later told me that it was possible to swing the a/c in a some kind of a cimb/stall maneuver to force the gear down and lock itself. I know it's possible to "shake" it down in Pipers, but can it be done in the C-172RG?
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Interesting thought: one high-time retired pilot later told me that it was possible to swing the a/c in a some kind of a cimb/stall maneuver to force the gear down and lock itself. I know it's possible to "shake" it down in Pipers, but can it be done in the C-172RG?


[/ QUOTE ]

First off, congrats on keeping your cool and getting it down safely.


I used to instruct in a 182RG and occasionally a T210, and when I got checked out, no one ever mentioned that the gear can be forced down like it can in the Pipers. But, thats not to say that it isn't possible. Though I think that it would be more difficult in an RG Cessna than say, a Piper, just because of the sort of awkward manner in which the gear comes down.
 

Alchemy

Well-Known Member
Another congrats on getting yourself and your student successfully through the emergency situation. Gear emergencies are always nerve racking; it sounds like you took your time, considered all your options and handled things well.

Regarding the "shake and lock" maneuver to get the gear into place: I'm guessing that it would be less likely to work in a cessna RG, simply because you need hydraulic pressure to get the gear down and locked. Aerodynamic forces and gravity alone won't do the trick like they do in a piper. Might've been worth a shot though......
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Good job. Regards the windmilling prop, I'm trying to remember in the Cessna singles whether pulling the prop lever full aft would've reduced the windmill and possibly stopped the prop. Long time back remembering here, but I don't think the full aft on the prop lever necessarily feathered the prop, but possibly could've slowed it enough to stop it, who knows?

All food for thought for the future, now that there's time to analyze the situation at zero altitude/airspeed and one G. Great job overall.

MD
 

Raskal

New Member
Hey, congrats on getting down safely, that's all that matters!

Regarding the getting the gear down with the piper shake and bake...I can't see it working on the 172RGhetto, but maybe.

With the prop, pulling it full aft would probably have stopped the windmilling, but remember to get the prop to the high pitch/low rpm position you need oil pressure, which you'd only have until the prop stopped spinning...sooo I don't know if it would've stayed there.
 
Top