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| | |-+  UCA4820 at FNT: Gear Pins Left in Main Gear
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Author Topic: UCA4820 at FNT: Gear Pins Left in Main Gear  (Read 5517 times)
StuSEL
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« on: August 31, 2013, 12:13:20 AM »

A de Havilland Dash 8-200, N351PH, operating flight UCA4820 for United Express departed the Flint-Bishop International Airport (KFNT) at approximately 2245Z (18:45L) on an IFR flight from Flint to Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport (KCLE).

Approximately 1 minute after receiving a takeoff clearance for Runway 27, a voice can be heard over the radio saying "and Tower," followed by silence. 5 seconds later, the tower controller asks "Commutair 4820, was that you calling Flint Tower?" There is no response for 6 seconds. Tower states, "Commutair 4820, contact departure. Have a good flight." The crew states "Tower, 4820, we're going to have to return to the field here. The gear pins are still in there."

The tower controller instructed the crew to enter a right downwind for Runway 27. The controller also passed along an observation that the main gear were down but the nose gear was up. The pilot responded with an explanation that pins were still left in the main landing gear. (A lot of the response to the tower controller is indiscernible.)

The tower controller asked for souls on board and fuel remaining in minutes, to which the pilot responded "Oh, a lot of fuel for probably a couple hours of the flight, and then we just have 3 crewmembers and then 1 mechanic -- 4 souls." The ARFF trucks were rolled, the crew landed the aircraft, and then the aircraft taxiied back to the gate with ARFF trucks in trail.

A source at the airport tells me that the aircraft had undergone a change of both main tires prior to the flight.
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CFI ASEL
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flyflyfly
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2013, 02:20:05 PM »

The Dash 8's main gear struts are clearly visible to passengers sitting in the middle of the aircraft. Had there been any passengers aboard, they probably could have watched the red "REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT" ribbons blowing in the wind...  rolleyes
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Robert Larson
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2013, 08:21:23 PM »

Preflight: Always a good idea.

I wonder why the controller treated this as emergency. He made someone else go around. You don't hear an emergency declaration from the pilot. He just changed his plan to land at this airport. Why not just go into the pattern and land in turn behind traffic on final? I guess that weird gear config freak out the tower a bit.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 08:25:10 PM by Robert Larson » Logged

KRDU & KTTA http://d.liveatc.net/krdu2.m3u
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swa4678
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2013, 12:15:12 PM »

I wonder why the controller treated this as emergency.
"Hope for the best, plan for the worst" comes to mind. :p He might've been thinking... Sure, the main gear probably won't collapse on landing. The pilot will probably get the nose gear to extend again just fine. There probably aren't any other issues overlooked during preflight. He'll probably be able to land and taxi clear.

Probably.
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StuSEL
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2013, 10:50:41 PM »

From my perspective, the emergency vehicle staging was not a bad idea at all. A Dash 8 in the pattern takes only a minute or two to get back to short final, so if somewhere in that 1 or 2 minutes the pilot decides he needs the trucks, it's better to have them out and ready to go rather than waiting for an emergency to occur. It takes ARFF about that much time to get the trucks rolling.
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CFI ASEL
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robc
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2013, 03:21:47 AM »

I wonder why the controller treated this as emergency. He made someone else go around. You don't hear an emergency declaration from the pilot. He just changed his plan to land at this airport. Why not just go into the pattern and land in turn behind traffic on final? I guess that weird gear config freak out the tower a bit.

There's a slight error in the transcription above.  The pilot said, "We have to return to the field here."  It's an imperative statement.  With the nose gear retracted, I think the tower decided to give landing priority to the departing aircraft by declaring an emergency for him.
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RangerPilot
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2013, 09:34:34 PM »

Former CommutAir pilot here - one of the Captain's preflight items (I do believe the first one on the originating flow and checklist) is gear pins...they sit in a holder behind the Captain's seat. Capt dropped the ball on this one.
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