Piper PA-28RT-201T Turbo Cherokee Arrow IV, G-BNTC
The pilot was on a flight from Cranfield Airport to Sherburn Airfield. Approaching Sherburn, he descended from 4,500 ft to 2,500 ft and selected landing gear down; he observed a red ‘gear unsafe’ indication but does not mention in his statement if there were any green ‘down and locked’ indications. He reselected the gear but to no avail, but then became aware of smoke emanating from under the seats. He wanted to reduce engine power but “in panic” pulled the propeller rpm lever instead. This action meant that the engine rpm would not exceed 2,000 even with full power and because of this he decided to conduct a forced landing in a field near his destination. During the landing the aircraft was severely damaged but the pilot and his passenger were uninjured.
It is possible that the smoke the pilot saw had come from the electro-hydraulic landing gear motor, but this has not been confirmed. During the event he made no attempt to use the emergency extension facility which would have released hydraulic pressure in the system and allowed the gear to lock down under gravity.