An Instructor Pilot Training At The Roanoke Area Onboard A Cessna 172 Rg ( Retractable Gear )

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In 2010, an instructor pilot and student were practicing maneuvers in a practice area in the Roanoke area onboard a Cessna 172 RG (Retractable Gear). Part of their lesson included landings. As they crew was preparing for practice landings in Roanoke, part of the procedure included lowering the gear. As the pilots lowered the gear and confirmed that they had three green lights, indicating that the gear was securely in place, they only got 2 green lights, indicating that one of the gear either was not working, or the possibility of that particular light bulb being burned out. The crew tested the light, and found that it was working—indicating that the gear had actually not come out. Upon realizing the problem, the crew called off the…show more content…
As was assumed, the tower crew confirmed that the nose gear did not come down. Part of the POH stated that in preparation for landing, that if the “main landing gear” were not working, that it is recommended to retract all the gear and land on the belly of the aircraft. But, the POH did not state anything about this situation, which simply involved the front nose gear not extending. This is where pilot discretion must come into play and where judgement must carefully be used. The crew decided that they would have to make a forced landing without their front landing gear, while extending the main two landing gear. As they came in, they performed a “soft-field landing” which means that the 2 main landing gear were set down first and the nose-gear was held off the ground for as long as possible. Typically, in the case of a landing involving all of the gear not coming down, the pilots would turn off the engine before landing, to reduce the amount of damage that would be done to the engine. But, in this case, the pilots decided that it would be best to leave the engine running in case they had to perform a go-around maneuver due to not having a stabilized approach or something along those lines. This decision goes to prove that risk mitigation is not always a by-the book decision, but rather can also be an in-the-moment, case

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