It is seldom that pilots will stay with the same aircraft type after going solo.

For the majority, more aircraft ratings are in the immediate future.

These are usually aircraft with more seating, faster speeds, variable pitch propellers and retractable gear.

Once you fly with retractable gear, you will often hear one of these general statements.

“It’s not IF you will forget your gear, IT’S when you will forget your gear.”


“There are pilots that have landed gear up, and those that still have to.”

Landing gear incidents are usually defined into four categories:

  • Landing with the gear up unintentionally.
  • Landing with the gear up due to mechanical failure.
  • Landing gear retracting after landing due to mechanical failure.
  • Landing gear retracting after landing unintentionally.

Unintentionally dropping the aircraft on its belly can be caused by distraction, forgetting to follow checklists, confusion between pilots, or confusion between instructors and students.

Sean O’Brien suggests the following:

We can eliminate the ‘retracting landing gear’ incidents after landing.

Flight instructors need to change their Procedures in educating people about raising flaps or gear.

This is what our instructors now say to our students:

Flaps at 0

Flaps at 10

Flaps at 20

Flaps at 30

Flaps at 40

Landing Gear up or Landing Gear Down

This small change in vocabulary from the instructor to the student has eliminated all of our retracting gear after learning accidents.


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