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Thread: Landing gear down just before landing?

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    Default Landing gear down just before landing?

    Hey, not sure if this video has been posted before. Is what happened in this video common? Is it safe? on purpose or by mistake? Shouldn't the landing gear be down way before landing? The creator of the video said something in the comment section about this possibly being a cost-cutting measure, could this be? Sorry for all of the questions, this just seems very weird to me

    -Rene

    http://youtu.be/KDgvWa-EbbE

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    Member Taliesin's Avatar
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    I havent seen anything like this before, but it's not dangerous, because if you dont get a good landing gear indication, you'll just go around.
    It could be a cost-cutting measure, but I'm not sure how much fuel you can save by keeping the landing gear up for a minute or two longer, besides, if you ever have to go around because of it, you're going to have to do many approaches like this to get the burned fuel of the GA back.

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    Super Moderator brianw999's Avatar
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    Just 18 seconds from gear seeming to be down and locked to actual touchdown is cutting it rather fine in my book. I'm rather glad that that pilot files inanimate freight, I wouldn't want him flying me !!
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Once I was at Phoenix Zoo(about 3nm from Sky Harbour airport, for a jet, its about 1 minute to landing) and saw a dash 8 (America West Express or US airways Express)approaching gear up, and didn't see it put the gear down. The gear was still up when it disappeared behind the trees, I guess he put it down at the last minute(or should I say seconds?)

    "There are two types of pilots, those that have landed gear up, and those that will"
    (hope its not too true)

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    Many Airlines now have a operating procedure (that Ive read in the Industry Journals) that hold the gear as long as possible. There is a lot of Fuel Savings by holding the gear. Lots of gas ate up once you put the sneakers down.

    At the Test Lab here at Boeing Field the 747-8 Test Bench I work at has a great view out over Boeing Field, I also have SEATAC approaches (when landing south) and its amazing how many dont have the sneakers down passing over us. Once in a while I see them coming down and sometimes I see them already down. Depends on the airline.

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    Member hongmng's Avatar
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    In Mainland China every airline flights put gear down at around 2000ft, and always at the moment the flight attendants announcement for landing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianw999 View Post
    Just 18 seconds from gear seeming to be down and locked to actual touchdown is cutting it rather fine in my book. I'm rather glad that that pilot files inanimate freight, I wouldn't want him flying me !!
    18 seconds is plenty of time to check for 3 green.

    Here it was clearly a case of the FedEx flying the approach fast, they even land without full flaps. 28 is a 13,000ft runway, I don't think anything dangerous occurred here.

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leftseat86 View Post
    18 seconds is plenty of time to check for 3 green.

    Here it was clearly a case of the FedEx flying the approach fast, they even land without full flaps. 28 is a 13,000ft runway, I don't think anything dangerous occurred here.
    Of course, but several of those 18 seconds happened with the airplane already overflying the runway, flaring, reducing thrust before touching down.

    It's a very high-workload scenario where the green light indication (or lack of) could be overlooked, or if attention is focused on paying attention to the lights to see and verify that it got green, then it's diverted from other critical tasks in this, again, high workload situation.

    So you risk missing a lack of green-light and landing with an unsafe gear, or making another mistake from diverting your focus to the landing gear lights.

    If the green lights doesn't come on in time, the best-case scenario is a very very low go-around whcih, while it should be safe, it's not nice for a best-case. It's an even higher workload contition and it has its own risks.

    And, if nothing of that satisfy you as an explanation, then you must know that Fed-Ex, like most airlines, have a "stabilized approach" criteria in their SOPs that say, among other things, that the airplane must be fully configured for landing (including landing gear down and safe) by a given "gate" altitude that tyically is between 500 and 1000ft. And this airplane was with the gear not-safe way way below 500ft. So, as a minimum, they violated their airline's SOP and hence the federal regulations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    Of course, but several of those 18 seconds happened with the airplane already overflying the runway, flaring, reducing thrust before touching down.

    It's a very high-workload scenario where the green light indication (or lack of) could be overlooked, or if attention is focused on paying attention to the lights to see and verify that it got green, then it's diverted from other critical tasks in this, again, high workload situation.

    So you risk missing a lack of green-light and landing with an unsafe gear, or making another mistake from diverting your focus to the landing gear lights.

    If the green lights doesn't come on in time, the best-case scenario is a very very low go-around whcih, while it should be safe, it's not nice for a best-case. It's an even higher workload contition and it has its own risks.

    And, if nothing of that satisfy you as an explanation, then you must know that Fed-Ex, like most airlines, have a "stabilized approach" criteria in their SOPs that say, among other things, that the airplane must be fully configured for landing (including landing gear down and safe) by a given "gate" altitude that tyically is between 500 and 1000ft. And this airplane was with the gear not-safe way way below 500ft. So, as a minimum, they violated their airline's SOP and hence the federal regulations.
    I agree with your "of course" and all of your "but". Basically I was commenting on the fact that I think it is clearly an intentional move here and that everything appeared well under control, not whether or not it's a smart thing to do or within permissible established procedures.

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leftseat86 View Post
    I agree with your "of course" and all of your "but". Basically I was commenting on the fact that I think it is clearly an intentional move here and that everything appeared well under control, not whether or not it's a smart thing to do or within permissible established procedures.
    I hope it was not intentional, but rather a "oh shit" moment.

    If it was intentional (or if I learn if from YouTube), in my airline (if it existed) they would be fired no questions asked.

    If it was a mistake (say that they were through 500ft and one say "500ft, stabilized appr... oh shit, the gear is up", or that they are made aware by a "landing gear" warning), then they would get seriously questioned about why they lowered the gear instead of going around, and maybe (and I've said maybe) get another chance after additional corrective (and punitive) training.

    Honest mistakes are one thing. Stupid mistakes are another. While forgeting to lower the landing gear and failing to detect that fact in the landing checklist can be a honest mistake, deciding to lower it so low cannot: they would know that they were doing something wrong. Noticing too low that the gear is up and deciding to lower it instead of going around is somewhere in the middle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    I hope it was not intentional, but rather a "oh shit" moment.

    If it was intentional (or if I learn if from YouTube), in my airline (if it existed) they would be fired no questions asked.

    If it was a mistake (say that they were through 500ft and one say "500ft, stabilized appr... oh shit, the gear is up", or that they are made aware by a "landing gear" warning), then they would get seriously questioned about why they lowered the gear instead of going around, and maybe (and I've said maybe) get another chance after additional corrective (and punitive) training.

    Honest mistakes are one thing. Stupid mistakes are another. While forgeting to lower the landing gear and failing to detect that fact in the landing checklist can be a honest mistake, deciding to lower it so low cannot: they would know that they were doing something wrong. Noticing too low that the gear is up and deciding to lower it instead of going around is somewhere in the middle.
    It appears to be an intentional move here given they are coming in faster than normal and the flaps aren't down all the way, and that they continue the approach to landing after lowering the gear. If it was a mistake I think they would have gone around. The runway is 13,000 ft long and the FedEx ramp happens to be at its far end.

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    Flaps 35 is a normal landing flap setting for the DC-10/MD-10 as is Flaps 50.

    Looking at the video they were at Flaps 22 and when they selected Flaps 35 the gear unsafe warning went off (which cannot be silenced) and prompted them to lower the gear.

    If the crew was fast, the gear would have already been out. It has a much higher extension speed. (Around 260 IIRC) And any pilot would be using the gear well in advance of getting that low.
    Anybody can fly a round airplane....

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    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Gabriel-LeftSeat circular argument
    I think there's agreement that this was not particularly dangerous- and even if it was an "oh crap" the pilots were situationally aware after the speculated gear warning and plenty of time to determine if continuing or going around was more appropriate.

    As to the disagreement- while we can't say with absolute certainty- it would appear that they violated the commonly accepted 'rules' for a stabilized approach.

    I would question the wisdom of deliberately violating stabilized-approach 'rules'- you could get reprimanded for bad judgement.

    Now, if things unfolded fast and there were some valid distractions in the cockpit, and it was an honest mistake, I feel a lot better.

    Because a premeditated and deliberate violation of stabilized approach 'rules' seems unlikely to me, I side with those who suggest that this was an honest, "oh crap" mistake.
    Tres Caca de Toro

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    I think there's agreement that this was not particularly dangerous- and even if it was an "oh crap" the pilots were situationally aware after the speculated gear warning and plenty of time to determine if continuing or going around was more appropriate.

    As to the disagreement- while we can't say with absolute certainty- it would appear that they violated the commonly accepted 'rules' for a stabilized approach.

    I would question the wisdom of deliberately violating stabilized-approach 'rules'- you could get reprimanded for bad judgement.

    Now, if things unfolded fast and there were some valid distractions in the cockpit, and it was an honest mistake, I feel a lot better.

    Because a premeditated and deliberate violation of stabilized approach 'rules' seems unlikely to me, I side with those who suggest that this was an honest, "oh crap" mistake.
    Yes, I'm also interested in the fact that they are not using full flaps for landing. Seems like they were planning on landing long in the first place, and forgot to drop wheels?

    DC-10 Landing Gear Operating / Extended Limits
    Extension: 260 Kts/ 0.7 M Retraction: 230 Kts/ 0.7 M Alternate Gear Extension: 230 Kts / 0.7M Gear Extended: 300 Kts / 0.7 M Gear Extended following Alternate Extension: 260 Kts / 0.7M

    Since speed clearly wasn't an issue I think I agree with you guys now that it was probably just a mistake.

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Again, while forgetting the gear up can be a mistake, not going around when you realize that fact and you are below the stabilized approach gate can hardly be one.

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    Never had this problem. My landing gear always lived in down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadstick View Post
    Never had this problem. My landing gear always lived in down.
    - Landing check, please.
    - Flaps?
    - Set.
    - Pump?
    - On.
    - Mixture?
    - Rich.
    - Carb heat?
    - Off.
    - Landing lights?
    - On.
    - Landing gear?
    - Down and bolted.
    - Landing checklist complete.

  18. #18
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    - Landing check, please.

    ...
    - Carb heat?
    - Off.
    ...
    WHAT?!?!?!?!?
    Tres Caca de Toro

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    WHAT?!?!?!?!?
    Carb heat "cold" for landing, no?

  20. #20
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraflight View Post
    Carb heat "cold" for landing, no?
    http://www.flight.org/blog/2010/04/1...handbooks-poh/

    CESSNA SECTION 4
    MODEL 152 NORMAL PROCEDURES

    BEFORE LANDING
    1. Seats, Belts, Harnesses -- ADJUST and LOCK.
    2. Mixture -- RICH.
    3. Carburetor Heat -- ON (apply full heat before reducing power).

    My explanations:

    1. Carb ice can kill the engine and you are very low, therefore use carb heat.
    2. Reducing the throttle with carb ice can kill the engine, therefore use carb heat.
    3. Reducing the throttle with carb ice can kill the engine, and you might reduce power while maneuvering for landing, therefore use carb heat.
    4. Reducing the throttle can reduce the heat generated by the exhaust, therefore limiting the effectiveness of carb heat should you need to turn it on. Therefore, use carb heat.
    5. If the engine dies from carb ice, the heat generated by the exhaust can be GREATLY reduced GREATLY reducing the effectiveness of carb heat, when you need it quickly and need it effective. Therefore, use carb heat.

    AFTER LANDING- you might want to turn the heat off after you have slowed the aircraft and exited the runway as the carb heat setting ususally bypasses the air filter.

    Should you go around (or do a touch and go), it is advisable to promptly remove the carberetor heat as the hot air causes a slight but noticable reduction in engine horsepower.


    Tres Caca de Toro

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