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.
On 27 June 2020, the owner of a Cessna 210H was conducting a private local flight at Hamilton, Victoria. The pilot was the only occupant on board.
As the aircraft re-entered the circuit and the pilot lowered the undercarriage, an unfamiliar noise was detected emanating from underneath the aircraft. The pilot checked the wing mirror to ensure the landing gear was down and observed the main right wheel was partially extended and not in a locked position. The pilot conducted operational checks on the landing gear and attempted to manually lock the undercarriage, however all attempts were unsuccessful.
The pilot notified Melbourne air traffic control of the situation and broadcast to local aircraft on the CTAF. The aircraft entered a hold over Hamilton to ensure emergency services had time to arrive at the airport. The pilot then notified nearby aircraft of the intention to land and conducted a wheels-up landing on the grassed area parallel to the runway, resulting in minor damage to the lower fuselage and propeller.
This incident highlights the effectiveness of sound decision-making when presented with minimal options in emergency situations. In this instance, the pilot identified the fault, conducted trouble-shooting and provided clear communication about the intention to conduct a wheels-up landing. CASA has released a Decision Making booklet, which provides further advice on how to make sound decisions in high workload environments.
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.