Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

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pelmet
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Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#1 Post by pelmet » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:28 am

It is always best to come to a stop before retracting the flaps in a retractable gear aircraft. And if you think about it, reaching for the wrong handle can retract the gear even if you are stopped(although being stopped is likely to have less distractions).

I am not going to sit here and pretend that I have not had a bad habit and retracted the flaps while taxiing in but I have always try to do it in a manner that hopefully will prevent the below incident from happening. Do it methodically, relatively slowly, and I say to myself something along the lines of "flaps, not the gear" and visually confirming it. One aircraft I flew even had the electric cowl flaps switches beside the gear handle so I said a similar thing when opening the cowl flaps.


"C-GCKN, a privately operated Piper PA-23-160 aircraft, was conducting a local flight from Drayton Valley Industrial, AB (CER3) with a pilot and a passenger on board. While exiting the runway after an uneventful landing and rollout, the pilot inadvertently selected landing gear up, rather than retracting the flaps. Consequently, the right main landing gear collapsed. The right wing and propeller contacted the ground as the aircraft came to rest. The 2 occupants received no injuries."
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fish4life
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#2 Post by fish4life » Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:50 am

I'd be willing to bet that every airliner out there has crews retracting flaps while still moving
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#3 Post by FL007 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:02 am

fish4life wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:50 am
I'd be willing to bet that every airliner out there has crews retracting flaps while still moving
Airliners have to. Ever get to the gate with landing flaps still down? It's a funny conversation with atc typically.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#4 Post by Zaibatsu » Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:12 pm

Always did it. Always do it to this day as per SOP.

If you can’t tell the difference between the levers, and the conscious movement it takes to move a gear handle over a detent or lock to the up position, maybe you shouldn’t be flying.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#5 Post by C.W.E. » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:00 pm

If you can’t tell the difference between the levers, and the conscious movement it takes to move a gear handle over a detent or lock to the up position, maybe you shouldn’t be flying.
Selecting gear up instead of flaps up is truly a careless action.

I had a flight instructor working for me when I operated a school who had a student retract the gear on the runway, hell he works for T.C. now.

By the way it was not my airplane he wrecked.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#6 Post by PilotDAR » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:59 pm

Pilots of retractables can take advantage of the aircraft design, to assist them in preventing such mistakes. On aircraft certified to the later certification basis of FAR part 23, the landing gear selector is required to be a wheel shaped knob, positioned to the left of the engine controls. The flap selector is required to be a flap shaped knob, positioned to the right of the engine controls. Think about the feel of the knob, and where it is, before you move it.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#7 Post by switchflicker » Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:16 pm

Selecting gear up instead of flaps up is truly a careless action.

I had a flight instructor working for me when I operated a school who had a student retract the gear on the runway, hell he works for T.C. now.

By the way it was not my airplane he wrecked.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#8 Post by C.W.E. » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:28 pm

Who works for TC now? The student or the instructor?
The instructor.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#9 Post by ahramin » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:34 pm

In small retractable gear aircraft I wait until I'm clear of the runway, stop, then retract the flaps and switch frequencies and do all the other stuff. I don't see any reason to do anything sooner or while moving if I'm single pilot.

The exception to this is retracting the flaps on rollout because you need the extra braking. If you're going into a strip that tight, your game should already be good enough that you won't confuse the flap handle with the gear handle.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#10 Post by pelmet » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:38 pm

fish4life wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:50 am
I'd be willing to bet that every airliner out there has crews retracting flaps while still moving
It helps to reduce the potential for a mistake when the pewrson who is making the selection is not concentrating on taxiing. Then again, pilots not operating the controls have selected the wrong lever before. I had a guy select the gear down slightly above its maximum speed when a flap selection was called for and I have heard stories of flaps selected to a lower setting instead of the gear being selected up.

The idea of look, confirm, then select can be useful, especially if you are the one operating the controls at the same time. I have to admit that a long time ago during an initial training flight, I tried to select a completely wrong lever when flaps were called for. Fortunately, that incorrect lever could only be moved by pulling it up instead of in the direction the flap lever moves. Root cause, I didn't look and moved fast.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#11 Post by C.W.E. » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:48 pm

It is all about situational awareness, before you do anything with an airplane you double check that you are about to do the correct thing.

For instance when I was flying amphibious airplanes I always asked the same question when turning final.

"" Where am I landing and where is my gear? ""

That check saved me from landing with the wrong gear position twice.

By the way I did that check in every airplane I flew...every landing
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#12 Post by JasonE » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:50 pm

It comes down to knowing the specific aircraft you are flying. With any new to me airplane I spend a good deal of time in the cockpit learning and memorizing everything before I fly it. Especially for night flying.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#13 Post by Gannet167 » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:03 pm

I wouldn't call retracting flaps while taxiing a bad habbit. It's entirely normal, standard practice and should not require much pilot ability to do it correctly. A google images search shows even on this Piper the gear handle is a wheel shape. If a pilot lacks the awareness and conscientiouness to put the flaps up correctly while driving on the ground at 10 kts, how can they manage not to confuse them while flying at several times that speed, handling ATC clearances, flying an approach, etc etc etc? The same risk of confusing handles exists in the air with potentially dire consequences and you can't really come to a stop airborne so you can figure out which is which. This guy's bad habbit wasn't making selections while taxiing, rather, it was being careless. I wouldn't trust him not to confuse the rudder with the aileron, even though those controls also have a very different look and feel to them.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#14 Post by aeroncasuperchief » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:06 pm

There is no excuse for such an important selection as flaps/gear upon landing BUT what happened to certified A/C having systems to prevent inadvertent activation ( squat switch/WOW switch) Is the maintenance so poor that many are unserviceable? Another issue is what is it with AME s who fear to get into / get interested in electrical aspects of A/C? YOU are not an AME IF you cannot be capable with diagnosing electrical snags AND doing preventative maintenance on any electrical system ( Instead of waiting for the up/down lock switches and its attendant terrible wiring to fully fail before you bravely try to replace it !! )
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#15 Post by PilotDAR » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:44 am

For instance when I was flying amphibious airplanes I always asked the same question when turning final.

"" Where am I landing and where is my gear? ""

That check saved me from landing with the wrong gear position twice.

By the way I did that check in every airplane I flew...every landing
Me too. I have been asked why I just said "wheels are down for landing on land" when I'm flying a regular retractable. I explain that I follow one habit only for all retractables I fly, and some require the wheels to be up for landing sometimes, so I state out loud to myself where the wheels are, and where I'm landing.
what happened to certified A/C having systems to prevent inadvertent activation ( squat switch/WOW switch)
Not all retractables have WOW switch systems - no amphibians do. When the aircraft is rolling there may not yet be enough weight on wheels to activate the WOW switches, particularly with the flaps still out, creating a little lift. Hitting a bump while rolling can momentarily deactivate a WOW switch. And, the only safe way to actually check the correct function of some wow switch systems is on jacks, so not so commonly done. A pilot should never depend upon the operation of a WOW switch system to protect them from a mistake.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#16 Post by youhavecontrol » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:56 am

You'd be amazed how fast a student can grab a switch and move it before you have time to react to what they're doing. Our SOP's state never to retract flaps or do any post-flight checks until after you leave the active runway, but I still catch my students wanting/trying to. ...it's a bad habit they learn from flying with instructors who do a bunch of the checks for the student while rolling.

Two events last week that remind me of this:
*student grabs switch* "Confirm Flaps?" asked the student. "No that's the gear!... stop. Don't do those checks until we're off the runway."
*during a stop-and-go* "Confirm Flaps? asked the student. "Not yet.. we're still landing! You're eyes should be outside while we're rolling. Wait until we stop, so the squat switch is depressed."

By the way, the flaps are this GIANT handle, but since the students learned previously on a DA20, they sometimes think the flaps are still a dainty little electrical switch, located around the same area as the landing gear switch in the Seminole. ...they go for that switch with freakish speed sometimes.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#17 Post by switchflicker » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:31 am

Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage
#7 Post by switchflicker » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:16 pm

Selecting gear up instead of flaps up is truly a careless action.

I had a flight instructor working for me when I operated a school who had a student retract the gear on the runway, hell he works for T.C. now.

By the way it was not my airplane he wrecked.
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Who works for TC now? The student or the instructor?
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The instructor.
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So why are you shitting on TC and the instructor if the STUDENT retracted the gear on the runway?
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#18 Post by FlyGy » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:34 am

I've always done what my POH says to do and retract the flaps on rollout to improve braking....but then, I fly a PA28R. Kinda hard to confuse the two.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#19 Post by PilotDAR » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:22 pm

POH says to do and retract the flaps on rollout to improve braking
As do the POH's for the C172RG, C177RG, C182RG, and 210. I do note though, that Cessna is specific to do this after all three wheels are on the ground, I presume Cessna is depending upon the WOW switch (nosewheel only on these types) to prevent landing gear operation if wrongly selected.
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Re: Bad Habits Lead to Gear up Damage

#20 Post by RatherBeFlying » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:11 pm

I remember being trained to flip up the flap switch on rollout in 150s; same with 172s.

Transitioning to retracts needs a thorough discussion of what switch or lever not to touch on the ground.

Amphibs are another way to screw up even bigger.

Flapped gliders offer another opportunity to get confused between flap and spoiler handles. There's a number of glider landing accidents where witnesses report the flaps moving while the spoilers stay put. More rarely the witnesses see the gear going up and down.

At certain flap settings in certain gliders, it may be advisable to change flaps during the landing roll. Fortunately the flap handle is usually high up while the gear handle is lower down. Even better are gliders where gear handle is on the other side of the cockpit.
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