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On 8 August 2016, at about 0700 Central Standard Time (CST), a Beech 58 aircraft, registered VH-UZO (UZO), departed Gove Airport, Northern Territory, for a flight to Elcho Island Airport. On board were a pilot and four passengers.

During the initial climb, the pilot selected the landing gear up and noted the landing gear motor stopped after a shorter time interval than expected. The pilot also observed that the landing gear unsafe light remained illuminated.

The pilot returned the aircraft to hold overhead Gove Airport, while they attempted to ascertain the reason for the landing gear malfunction. The pilot noted that the circuit breaker for the landing gear had tripped, so reset the circuit breaker and selected the landing gear down. The landing gear unsafe light remained illuminated and the circuit breaker tripped again.

The pilot conducted the emergency landing gear extension procedure, however the landing gear remained retracted. Over the next two hours, the pilot tried various methods, along with multiple attempts of the emergency landing gear extension procedure.

At about 0945, the pilot conducted a wheels up landing No persons were injured and the aircraft was substantially damaged in the accident.

Even though the operation was conducted single-pilot, this accident provides a good example of effective crew resource management techniques. The pilot quickly established that the available fuel endurance allowed ample time to carefully consider the circumstances and attempt to resolve the issue. They engaged company personnel, using multiple means to provide as much information as possible, and attempt to identify a solution to the malfunction. They sought the assistance of the ARO to inspect the aircraft and to alert emergency services. Holding over an easily identifiable position, and using the passengers where appropriate to assist, helped reduce the pilot’s workload. The pilot also prepared the passengers for the wheels up landing, this minimised the risk of injury and ensured the evacuation was controlled and orderly.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 53

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General details
Date: 08 August 2016 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0945 CST  
Location   (show map):Gove Airport Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence type: Landing gear/indication 
Release date: 14 October 2016 Occurrence class: Technical 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Beech Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: 58 
Aircraft registration: VH-UZO 
Serial number: TH-586 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Piston 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Gove, NT
Destination:Elcho Island, NT
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Last update 18 April 2017