Preliminary Report: Distraction might be a factor in gear-up landing

 - September 28, 2006, 4:27 AM

Learjet 25D, Sacramento, Calif., Oct. 26, 2005–On base leg for landing at Sacramento’s McClellan AFB, the pilot of Learjet N888DV was distracted by a helicopter transmitting over the common traffic advisory frequency. The copilot called for the landing gear to be extended, and the pilot said he thought he had lowered the gear while searching for the helicopter. He said he did not remember seeing the landing gear lights turn green. Flaring, he looked down, saw the red gear lights and reached for the gear handle. The jet landed gear up.

The pilot admitted the accident was the result of pilot error, with no mechanical malfunctions or failures. He said, “There were no audible warning indications that the landing gear was retracted.” The airplane “incurred thermal damage to the wing structure,” according to the NTSB, and the two pilots were uninjured. According to the FAA, registration of the aircraft was pending for Blue Sky of El Dorado, Calif. The NTSB report did not indicate that investigators interviewed the copilot.