Piper PA-28R-180 Cherokee Arrow, G-AVYT
The pilot reported that after two uneventful touch and go circuits at Gamston Airfield he flew to Sturgate Airfield, where he intended to fly a number of circuits before landing for fuel. When downwind for Runway 27 at Sturgate, the pilot believed that he had selected the landing gear down and had confirmed that the three green landing gear down indicator lights were illuminated. While the approach appeared to be normal, the aircraft landed with the landing gear partially retracted. Damage to the aircraft indicated that the landing gear started to extend late in the flare. During the recovery from the runway, the aircraft was raised on jacks and the landing gear was selected down. All three legs engaged in the down locks and the green landing gear down indicator lights illuminated. While the PA-28R is equipped with a backup gear extender that automatically lowers the landing gear when the speed is below 95 kt and the engine power is reduced to idle, the system had been inhibited on G-AVYT.
Date of occurrence: 23 March 2011