Wheels-up landing, North Weald Airfield, Essex, 15 July 2016.
The pilot’s first flight of the day had been with an instructor, and included three circuits: a normal circuit, a flapless circuit and a low level, ‘bad weather’, circuit. The second flight of the day was planned to be a solo repeat of the first flight. There was a light south-westerly wind, good visibility and no significant cloud.
The first circuit of the second flight was uneventful, and the pilot commenced the flapless exercise. As the aircraft turned onto final approach there was an aircraft occupying the runway, so the pilot went around into the bad weather circuit, which was flown at 500 ft.
The pilot recalls carrying out downwind checks and pressing the button to select the landing gear down. On approach he called “finals touch and go, three greens” and selected full flap, but could not recall if he checked that the three green lights that confirm the landing gear is locked down were illuminated. The aircraft landed on the runway centreline with the landing gear up. The pilot, who was unhurt, carried out the emergency shutdown checks and vacated the aircraft normally.
The pilot considered that probably he did not raise the landing gear on going around from the second circuit. Operating the button during the subsequent circuit raised the landing gear, the position of which he did not then check.
The instructor agreed with the student’s assessment of the cause.
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Published: 8 December 2016
Date of occurrence: 15 July 2016