Piper PA-28RT-201 Cherokee Arrow IV, G-BPZM
The flight was part of an Instrument Rating (IR) course and was the student’s first in a PA-28R Cherokee Arrow, having completed a multi-engine conversion course in a BE-76 Duchess. The PA 28 was being used for specific instrument training, with no intention of converting the student to the aircraft type. Only two flap selections were made during the ILS approach, both by the instructor. The student landed the aircraft satisfactorily; however, during the landing roll the instructor heard a loud bang and the aircraft swerved towards the right side of the runway. Whilst completing the shutdown checks the instructor noticed that the landing gear selector lever was in the ‘UP’ position. Although the landing gear selector is in a similar location in the Cherokee Arrow and the Duchess cockpits, the flap selector position is different. In his haste to retract the flaps, the student had inadvertently retracted the landing gear. Both occupants were uninjured and exited the aircraft without difficulty. Inadvertent selection of the landing gear on the ground should be prevented by means of an electrical circuit signalled by a microswitch on the left main landing gear. However, as the landing gear was selected shortly after touchdown, it is likely the oleo may not have been sufficiently compressed to operate the microswitch, thereby allowing the gear to retract.
Date of occurrence: 14 August 2008