Approaching Leicester Airport from the east, the pilot had originally planned to fly a downwind join for Runway 28 because he was most familiar with that arrival profile. After checking‑in with Leicester Radio and hearing only one other aircraft on frequency, he elected to save time by converting to a straight-in approach. On finals, the pilot became aware of an additional aircraft in the circuit and was distracted trying to see where it was. With his attention diverted towards lookout, the pilot omitted his normal checks and did not lower the landing gear before touchdown. The aircraft landed with its undercarriage retracted and slid on its belly before stopping near the right edge of the runway. The pilot and passengers were uninjured and evacuated the aircraft by the normal exit.
The pilot considered that his decision to fly a less-familiar approach, rather than joining via the downwind leg, had increased his workload and given him less time to prepare for landing. Looking out for the additional aircraft had further distracted him from his normal procedures, contributing to a rushed approach and wheels-up landing.
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Published 13 September 2018