AAIB investigation to Piper PA-32R-301T, N551TT

Landing gear retraction during touch-and-go, Blackbushe Airport, Surrey, 16 November 2016.


A training flight, with an instructor, was being undertaken from Blackbushe Airport as part of a night rating qualification. It was dark and raining but the visibility was good and the surface wind was calm.

After a short local navigation exercise, the pilot re-joined the circuit and flew an approach to Runway 25. The runway has a tarmac surface, with a PAPI set at 3.1° for a displaced threshold and a landing distance available (LDA) of 1,059 m.

The pilot carried out a normal touchdown and, while rolling along the runway for a touch-and-go, asked the instructor to raise the flaps. The instructor was surprised by the request but carried out the action. As he did so, the pilot raised the landing gear and the gear unsafe warning sounded. The pilot, sensing the aircraft pitching up, lowered the nose and the propeller struck the ground. The instructor took control, lifted the aircraft into the air, re-selected the landing gear down and, having allowed time for it to lock down, landed on the remaining runway. The engine was shut down immediately and ATC was advised.

The instructor commented that he had not wanted to risk going around with a damaged propeller.

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Piper PA-32R-301T, N551TT 03-17

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Glossary of abbreviations

Published 13 April 2017