On 9 July 2014, the pilot of a Cessna 210 aircraft, registered VH-SKQ, conducted a scenic charter flight from Broome, Western Australia, to Windjana Gorge, Silent Grove, Mt Hart Station, Cape Leveque and return to Broome, with five passengers on board.

When approaching Broome Airport, the aircraft was cleared by air traffic control (ATC) to turn onto a left base leg for runway 10. Due to another aircraft backtracking on the runway, the pilot was directed by ATC to extend the base leg. The pilot then selected 10° of flap and the landing gear lever to the extended position, and reported that he had observed the green light indicating the landing gear was extended.

When on the final leg of the approach, the pilot reported that he performed the final checks however omitted to look outside and visually confirm by sighting the left main landing gear, whether the gear was in the extended position. As the pilot flared the aircraft for landing, he realised that the aircraft was lower to the ground than normal on touchdown, and heard what he believed were the main tyres contacting the runway, followed by the aircraft belly and propeller. The aircraft sustained substantial damage.

A witness observed the aircraft on the base leg, with the nose landing gear extended and the main landing gear retracted.

An engineering inspection found that a faulty nose gear up lock switch resulted in the nose gear extending during flight. This resulted in the main landing gear failing to extend. The pilot was unaware that the main landing gear had not extended prior to landing as the visual check was omitted.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 36