June 2000 Issue

Avoiding a Belly Slide

Gear-up landings are an expensive embarrassment that won’t happen with just a little discipline

It was almost sunset when I came out to the field. I needed to pick up my Jepps that I had left in the airplane. I came out the side of the hangar, facing the runways. It was then that I noticed the Beech Travelair sitting like a duck, bedded down for the night, landing gear neatly recessed into the wheel wells. Gear-up on our least-used runway.

There were red caution strobes all around the Travelair, so incoming traffic (rare at night) would see the bird. I picked up my flashlight and went out for a look. Streaks of oil, rubber and metal trailed out behind the twin. A classic gear-up, but why? I put on my sleuth hat and looked around. People, parts, position and paper – the classic ai...

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