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View Full Version : Gear Up!


OverRadar
02-21-2018, 07:50 PM
Hello all,

In 2009 as a CFI I almost had a gear up landing in a twin engine Piper Seminole. We never actually landed with the gear up however there was a dual prop strike as well as the "step stair" to step onto the wing being damaged/scraped. No other damage to the aircraft.

I realize that I was incredibly lucky to have walked away vs how things could have played out. Zero injuries related to the flight.

This happened at a towered airport and the FAA was notified by the airport manager which resulted 44709 ride.

I never got clarification if it was officially ruled an accident or incident. From recent reading, it doesn't fit the NTSB mold for an accident. Additional research has revealed that most gear up landings are not considered incident's (contrary to popular believe).

I'm unable to locate anything about my case in the NTSB accident database nor the FAA Accident and Incident Data System (AIDS).

I've received my full airman record from the FAA to include accident and incident history with no mention of that day. The only reminder in my airman file is a satisfactory 44709 letter from the FAA investigator.

I was under the impression that the FAA may just be reporting the past 5 years, thus nothing showing up seeing how long it's been. After contacting the FAA to request my FULL accident/incident history via the Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act, they confirmed that their provided record is for all accidents/incidents or enforcement actions associated with my certificate. They elaborated that if there ever was anything then it must have been expunged from my record.

I'm seeking advise on how to answer the dreaded "have you ever been in an accident or incident" question on the apps. If there's no record to be found in the NTSB or FAA database combined with my scenario not technically meeting the specifics for an accident or incident, would I be correct to mark "No"

Thank you in advance for all the help on the matter


JamesNoBrakes
02-21-2018, 08:49 PM
I'm seeking advise on how to answer the dreaded "have you ever been in an accident or incident" question on the apps. If there's no record to be found in the NTSB or FAA database combined with my scenario not technically meeting the specifics for an accident or incident, would I be correct to mark "No"

Thank you in advance for all the help on the matter

Aviation is a small world. Proceed at your own risk. Usually as far as the NTSB, gear-up landings are incidents and the FAA usually follows suit with this.

OverRadar
02-22-2018, 06:28 AM
I appreciate the feedback. To add to my previous post, I don't remember anybody from the NTSB contacting me and I would think any NTSB documentation would be somewhere in my airman record. I would like think that I would remember any representative from the NTSB or their paperwork. All I remember is the FAA inspector that handled my case.

Additionally I came across the following via a Google search. There's similar articles from other aviation law websites that suggest the same....

https://pilot-protection-services.aopa.org/news/2016/may/04/did-i-just-have-an-accident-or-an-incident

While common sense might suggest that a gear-up landing results in “substantial damage” to the aircraft and is a reportable accident, the definition of “substantial damage” actually excludes typical gear-up landing damage. “Substantial damage” is defined as “damage or failure which adversely affects the structural strength, performance, or flight characteristics of the aircraft, and which would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component. Engine failure or damage limited to an engine if only one engine fails or is damaged, bent fairings or cowling, dented skin, small punctured holes in the skin or fabric, ground damage to rotor or propeller blades, and damage to landing gear, wheels, tires, flaps, engine accessories, brakes, or wingtips are not considered "substantial damage." Consequently, there is no requirement to report a gear-up landing as long as no one is injured, the damage fits within the definition, and the specific incidents within 49 CFR 830.5 did not occur.


rickair7777
02-22-2018, 07:17 AM
Lawyering the language on airline application questions is fraught with peril.

My recommendation is that if there's any grey area at all, take the most conservative approach.

I personally would consider that an incident if I were filling out an app. Also if I was doing the interview. An employer's idea of an incident may not follow the letter of the NTSB rules. If the question was whether you had to report it to the NTSB, then you could split hairs. I wouldn't do it with an employer though.

Not sure about PRIA, but a FOIA request would almost certainly return the 709 ride and any employer is going to want to know the story there. Some airlines do FOIA requests as a matter of course, and anyone could do one.

Also, when addressing this at an interview... if it wasn't a gear up, does that mean you did a go-around after a prop-strike? That's going to raise some questions right there, high risk of engine failure at go-around power after a prop strike. You'll want to consider how to address that, ie didn't actually realized you'd hit the props, or what your logic was and what you learned.

OverRadar
02-22-2018, 09:31 AM
Understood and thank you for the advice rickair777.

I wasn't aware that the 709 ride would pop up and didn't show anything when I requested my records via FOIA so I thought I might be in the clear.

Yes the question certainly came up with the FAA Inspector on why I didn't commit to the gear up. I count my blessings that one or both engines didn't fail. Truth be told that it happened so fast and the go-around was my first instinct. I didn't realize the props had hit and was hoping the go-around was initiated early enough. Probably some wishful thinking or desperation on my part. Seeing the tips of the prop blades bent upon shut down and the overall experience that still haunts me to this day.

Thanks once again.

rickair7777
02-22-2018, 11:11 AM
Understood and thank you for the advice rickair777.

I wasn't aware that the 709 ride would pop up and didn't show anything when I requested my records via FOIA so I thought I might be in the clear.

Yes the question certainly came up with the FAA Inspector on why I didn't commit to the gear up. I count my blessings that one or both engines didn't fail. Truth be told that it happened so fast and the go-around was my first instinct. I didn't realize the props had hit and was hoping the go-around was initiated early enough. Probably some wishful thinking or desperation on my part. Seeing the tips of the prop blades bent upon shut down and the overall experience that still haunts me to this day.

Thanks once again.

That sounds, to me anyway, like the right approach to the lesson learned.

But I don't know why a 709 would not show up on FOIA? About the only things exempt would be personal medical info and PII like home address, SSN, etc. I'd do more research before you assume the 709 will never show up. Unless they used to purge those after X number of years?

OverRadar
02-22-2018, 01:48 PM
I asked the same thing to the FOIA FAA representative and even brought up the 44709 ride.

They responded that accidents are expunged from a record after 5 years (provided there isn't another accident). Enforcement actions are expunged after 2 years for administrative and indefinite for legal action. They proceeded to state that if I had any of the above then it must have been expunged and is no longer associated with my name or certificate.

The whole point of my post was for some feedback just in case someone knew more specifics or has been in the same boat. Overall I think you're correct to be conservative just in case it does pop up somewhere.

sailingfun
02-23-2018, 04:52 AM
I asked the same thing to the FOIA FAA representative and even brought up the 44709 ride.

They responded that accidents are expunged from a record after 5 years (provided there isn't another accident). Enforcement actions are expunged after 2 years for administrative and indefinite for legal action. They proceeded to state that if I had any of the above then it must have been expunged and is no longer associated with my name or certificate.

The whole point of my post was for some feedback just in case someone knew more specifics or has been in the same boat. Overall I think you're correct to be conservative just in case it does pop up somewhere.

Since you had dual prop strikes you had damage to both engines. The cost of dual strikes on a Seminole would be around 50,000 dollars. I don’t see anyway that is not a accident. I would report it on apps. Explain how it happened and what you learned from it.

JamesNoBrakes
02-23-2018, 06:21 PM
I asked the same thing to the FOIA FAA representative and even brought up the 44709 ride.

They responded that accidents are expunged from a record after 5 years (provided there isn't another accident). Enforcement actions are expunged after 2 years for administrative and indefinite for legal action. They proceeded to state that if I had any of the above then it must have been expunged and is no longer associated with my name or certificate.

The whole point of my post was for some feedback just in case someone knew more specifics or has been in the same boat. Overall I think you're correct to be conservative just in case it does pop up somewhere.
Lets be clear here,

FOIA your PRIA records will only show what certs/ratings you hold, enforcement actions and acidents/incidents that haven't been expunged.

FOIA your airmen records will show every 8710 application that you ever made, certificate and notice of disapproval, etc. This is where the FAA checkride failures, 709s, etc., come from.

Most 121 airlines (if not all now) do both of these. The first one is required by law. The 2nd is strongly recommended, but not required. This is not discussing the requirement for the new employer to get your training records from your previous employer.

A 44709 reexamination may be the result of an accident, incident, or just an inspector's investigation into an occurrence and determination that your competency may be an issue with whatever event is being investigated. In that case, you take the "ride" to make sure there wasn't some competency issue that caused it. I've conducted many and it's very rare for someone to fail, but every once and a while the process finds someone that should have never been issued a certificate in the first place. It's not meant to be punitive and only meant to re-test some portion of the applicable standards involved with the event.

PerfInit
02-24-2018, 06:24 AM
Might be worthwhile to review NTSB Part 830 to ensure clear understanding of the difference between an incident and an accident and what is required of an airman with respect to reporting. If you have additional questions, you could reach out to your local FAAST Team Safety Rep. You might be able to FOIA the FSDO’s investigation report as the form will clearly indicate what the classification of the event was. If you were not contactd by NTSB, chances are it is an incident.

sailingfun
02-24-2018, 09:33 AM
Might be worthwhile to review NTSB Part 830 to ensure clear understanding of the difference between an incident and an accident and what is required of an airman with respect to reporting. If you have additional questions, you could reach out to your local FAAST Team Safety Rep. You might be able to FOIA the FSDO’s investigation report as the form will clearly indicate what the classification of the event was. If you were not contactd by NTSB, chances are it is an incident.

That’s why I mentioned it would be a accident because of the cost for a tear down and rebuild on both engines.