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While maintenance personnel were completing their checks of the aircraft following maintenance, the flight crew interrupted the task in order to expedite the flight. That resulted in the position of the main landing gear inhibit switch not being verified by maintenance personnel.

When the flight crew prepared the aircraft for flight, they did not confirm the position of the main landing gear inhibit switch.

When the flight crew selected the landing gear to the down position (extended), the landing gear inhibit switch was in the INHIBIT position, thereby preventing normal extension. No caution advisories were illuminated. Had they been illuminated, the crew would have been directed to the ALTERNATE LANDING GEAR EXTENSION/ LANDING GEAR MALFUNCTION checklist and that would have led them to check the inhibit switch for position.

The crew was aware that on the previous flight, the aircraft had sustained a low-pressure indication of the number-2 hydraulic system. As the extension of the landing gear was dependent on the number-2 hydraulic system being operational, the flight crew possibly considered the gear problem was related to the previous number-2 hydraulic system pressure anomaly and more serious in nature. Upon arriving overhead Lord Howe Island, the flight crew had limited time to troubleshoot the landing gear problem as the aircraft fuel reserves would have been minimal, and any delays in landing would have compromised fuel reserves required for a safe return to the mainland.

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