Culver LCA Cadet, G-CDET
The pilot described that as he made his approach, he encountered “extreme turbulence”. He had difficulty lowering the landing gear, which requires both of the pilot’s hands to operate a lever and a pump wheel simultaneously, but believed that the landing gear was locked down. Following a normal landing, the landing gear collapsed, and the aircraft skidded to a halt on its underside. During the skid the gascolator, mounted on the bottom of the aircraft forward of the firewall, sustained damage, releasing fuel, and a fire broke out. Although flames entered the cockpit, the pilot evacuated the aircraft with only a minor injury, and used the aircraft’s fire extinguisher to tackle the fire. The extinguisher ran out before the fire was extinguished, but members of the flying club attended promptly with other extinguishers and put the fire out. The pilot stated that lack of experience in the turbulent conditions and the absence of a system to indicate that the gear is not locked down were both contributory factors. In rebuilding the aircraft, the pilot plans to install a landing gear warning system and to re-position the gascolator so as to protect it better during any future gear-up landing.
Culver LCA Cadet, G-CDET 01-11.pdf (214.98 kb)