Fournier RF4D, G-AVKD
The pilot had recently returned to the syndicate which owned the aircraft after an absence of several years. During a local flight, he noticed that his map had been trapped underneath the landing gear Raise/Lower lever so he released the landing gear lock, which allowed the single wheel to swing freely down under gravity and the lever to move forwards, releasing the map. He then recalls locking the landing gear but does not remember moving the Raise/Lower lever to retract it first. During the downwind checks, he believed he had lowered the landing gear, but, upon touchdown on the grass strip, it was evident that it was retracted. The aircraft came to rest with minimal damage. In a prompt and frank statement, he concedes that he had probably flown with the gear locked down and, when it came to extend it before landing, he simply operated the Raise/Lower lever to reverse its previous position, even though this retracted the gear. He pointed out that the positions were not labelled, but doubts whether this would have prevented the error.
Published 10 December 2014