Aviation occurrence briefs

Landing gear failure involving Cessna 210, near Katherine, NT, on 22 November 2018

Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Occurrence Briefs are concise reports that detail the facts surrounding a transport safety occurrence, as received in the initial notification and any follow-up enquiries. They provide an opportunity to share safety messages in the absence of an investigation.

What happened

On 22 November 2018 a Cessna 210 was conducting a freight charter flight to Kilarney Station, Northern Territory (NT). The pilot was the sole occupant on board.

During approach to Kilarney Station, the landing gear failed to extend. The pilot attempted to extend the landing gear using emergency procedures with no success. The pilot then decided to conduct a return to Tindal Airport, NT and contacted the chief pilot and engineer in-flight. After unsuccessfully conducting troubleshooting procedures, it was decided the pilot would have to conduct a wheels up landing at a private airstrip with a grass runway area near Katherine, NT.

While the runway was prepared and emergency services were organised, the pilot entered a holding pattern to burn off fuel. At 1400 Central Standard Time, after multiple practice approaches, a wheels up landing was conducted on the grass strip resulting in a propeller strike and minor damage to the fuselage.

Engineering inspection

Following the incident, an inspection of the landing gear revealed that the hydraulic line connected to the nose wheel actuator had separated from its fitting. This subsequently resulted in a loss of hydraulic fluid in the gear down hydraulic line.

Figure 1: Damage sustained to aircraft after landing

Figure 1: Damage sustained to aircraft after landing. Source: Operator

Source: Operator

Figure 2: Broken hydraulic line from nose wheel actuator

Figure 2: Broken hydraulic line from nose wheel actuator. Source: Operator

Source: Operator

Safety message

Unanticipated failures can occur at any given time during flight. In this instance, the pilot took all appropriate actions by following non-normal procedures, communicating and coordinating with ground staff to conduct additional checks to assess the situation, and ensuring that he was well prepared for the wheels up landing resulting in a safe outcome.

This accident not only highlights the importance of comprehensive and periodic maintenance inspections, but also the importance of following emergency checklists and procedures and using every resource available to help resolve an issue.

About this report

Decisions regarding whether to conduct an investigation, and the scope of an investigation, are based on many factors, including the level of safety benefit likely to be obtained from an investigation. For this occurrence, no investigation has been conducted and the ATSB did not verify the accuracy of the information. A brief description has been written using information supplied in the notification and any follow-up information in order to produce a short summary report, and allow for greater industry awareness of potential safety issues and possible safety actions.


General details
Date: 22 November 2018   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1401 CST    
Location   (show map): Near Katherine    
State: Northern Territory    
Release Date: 22 January 2019   Occurrence category: Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 210  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Minor  
Destination Kilarney Station, Northern Territory  
Last update 22 January 2019