Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA31, VH-PNL, Cape Flattery QLD, 4 March 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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The aircraft was engaged in the transfer of passengers from Cape Flattery to Cooktown. It was observed to overshoot from the first approach and to carry out a low level circuit subsequently landing with the gear retracted. The pilot reported that during the circuit following the missed approach, he was required to adjust the circuit pattern because of heavy rain in the area, and as a consequence flew a tighter than normal circuit. He also stated that during the circuit he was interrupted by radio conversations with another aircraft which was approaching Cape Flattery. An inspection of the aircraft revealed that the gear was in the locked up position and no damage had been caused to the main gear doors. No fault was found with the landing gear system that could have caused it not to extend when correctly selected down. The pilot believed that it was possible that when moving the gear selector lever to the down position he had not moved it fully down. He does not recall checking that the gear down indicator lights illuminated.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 04 March 1987   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: N/K    
Location: Cape Flattery    
State: Queensland   Occurrence type: Wheels up landing  
Release date: 22 July 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-31  
Aircraft registration VH-PNL  
Type of operation Charter  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Cooktown QLD  
Departure time N/K  
Destination Cape Flattery QLD  
Last update 13 May 2014