On 27 October 2013, the pilot of a Rockwell 114 aircraft, registered VH-AYH, departed Camden Airport, New South Wales in visual meteorological conditions on a flight to the designated training area located near Camden. The pilot was the only person on board.
About 5 minutes after departure the pilot became concerned about the level of smoke from a bush fire in the area effecting visibility. The pilot elected to return to Camden and to conduct circuits.
Due to the reducing visibility from the smoke the pilot conducted low level circuits and continued to monitor the visibility during the circuits. The first touch-and-go was conducted without incident. The pilot configured the aircraft for a second touch-and-go on runway 06. As the aircraft touched down at about 0745 Eastern Summer Time (ESuT) the pilot reported hearing a scraping sound and noticed that the landing gear was not selected down. The aircraft came to rest about a third of the way down the runway. The pilot was not injured.
The pilot indicated he did not remember hearing the aircraft’s landing gear warning horn at any stage during the landing.
This accident highlights the impact distractions can have on aircraft operations and the need to develop systems for managing distractions.