Pilot error blamed for TBM gear-up landing

 - July 28, 2009, 10:30 AM

Socata TBM 700, Clovis, N.M., Dec. 22, 2008–The Board ruled that the pilot’s failure to complete the before-landing checklist led to his failure to lower the gear. The gear-up landing substantially damaged the single-engine turboprop. The pilot was using the autopilot for a straight-in approach to the non-towered airport’s Runway 22. Facing a 15-knot headwind, the airplane was still fast and a little high at 4.2 miles out, but the pilot “reserved” lowering the gear because the airplane was still at 185 knots.

According to the pilot, “The approach felt normal. The next thing I knew we were sliding down the runway.” The TBM slid to a stop on the right side of the runway with the gear still retracted. The airplane suffered damage to the left rear spar, the center spar carrythrough and the aft fuselage. The pilot and three passengers suffered no injuries. The airplane was registered to Los Angeles-based Caterers Leasing.