Aviation occurrence briefs

Landing gear failure involving Cessna 210L, at Hodgson Downs, NT, on 17 April 2019

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 17 April 2019 at 1300 Central Standard Time, the pilot of a Cessna 210L aircraft was conducting a chartered passenger flight between Tindal and Hodgson Downs, Northern Territory.

Once established in the circuit area at Hodgson Downs, the landing gear was selected down as the aircraft manoeuvred to land. The pilot confirmed that the gear was down by visually checking the undercarriage was extending, hearing that the gear pump had stopped and identifying three green lights indicating gear down. The pilot continued the approach and completed the pre-landing checks, which included checking the landing gear again on final.

The landing roll felt normal until the aircraft slowed and more weight was applied to the landing gear, at which point the aircraft began to yaw to the right. The yaw was countered with rudder input, however the aircraft continued to yaw right and veered off the runway, coming to rest inside the flight strip.

Once the aircraft was shut down and secured, the pilot evacuated the passengers safely. No one was injured, however the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

Figure 1: Damage sustained to the aircraft after landing

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

Source: Operator

Engineering Inspection

The engineering inspection revealed one of the gear down indication switches was jammed in the closed position. On L-model Cessna 210 aircraft, when all three switches (left main, right main and nose) are closed, the gear down light is illuminated and the gear pump will stop. Upon further inspection, it appeared the switch was jamming intermittently.

During this incident, the pilot reported that he had lowered the landing gear, completed all checks as appropriate and received three green undercarriage lights. It appeared from the visual check at the time of lowering that the gear was down and locked. It is likely that the left main gear and the nose gear locked before the right main gear, however due to the right main gear switch being stuck in the closed position, the light illuminated and the pump stopped before the right main gear had fully locked in the down position.

Safety action

As a result of this occurrence, the aircraft operator has advised the ATSB that they are taking the following safety actions:

The incident has been examined and debriefed with the pilot and company’s training captains.

A company-wide memo was released regarding the importance of the visual undercarriage checks on final approach. As part of ongoing updates to the company flight crew operating manual, a revised final approach procedure has been included to clearly specify that visual gear checks must be conducted on final approach as part of the ‘UNDERCARRIAGE’ item on the checklist.

Safety message

This incident highlights the importance of pilots being familiar with all aircraft systems. This allows them to be aware of the possible effects of the failure of an interacting or interrelated component in those systems and provides them with a greater understanding of the aircraft’s operation in both normal and emergency situations.

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: 17 April 2019   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1300 CST    
Location   (show map): Hodgson Downs    
State: Northern Territory    
Release Date: 12 July 2019   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Cessna Aircraft Company  
Aircraft model 210L  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Piston  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Destination Hodgson Downs, Northern Territory  
Last update 31 July 2019