Very Expensive Faceplant…

Did you ever sit on, or look at, a big passenger airplane and think to yourself:

“I wonder if the landing gear would retract if you hit the button the wrong way while we are just sitting here”?

singapore airlines

(Story Here)

Sheesh, can you imagine being the guy(s) who were doing the inspection that lead to this outcome?  D’oh.

 

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39 Responses to Very Expensive Faceplant…

  1. Sentient says:

    At least it wasn’t actually landing. I know a guy who thought he was putting the gear down when he was actually putting it up. He landed on the belly and wrecked the prop of the Mooney. Woke his ass up quickly.

    Like

    • The Boss says:

      Not to mention the mandatory engine tear down and some belly paint. Mooneys are great aircraft.

      Like

    • Millwright says:

      Now That’s nifty ! Most Mooneys I’ve flown had a “Johnson Bar” gear system. Kinda hard to “inadvertently retract”, IMNSHO ! That said anyone that’s flown RG aircraft has had “their moment(s)” ! Good this happened at the gate while testing a repair. ( I suspect a faulty indicator/limit switch.) Bad, that both engine nacelles contacted the ground, meaning (I hope) a major inspection of nacelles, engines and mount/wing attachment structures.

      Like

  2. ZurichMike says:

    Jet with wheels down? Check.
    Landing gear button in place? Check.
    Toggle mechanism working? Oops.

    Like

  3. jeans2nd says:

    The airline is a “trendsetter.” according to aviation website AirlineRatings. Oh good.

    Like

  4. Daniel says:

    Looks like they missed adding an interlock mechanism.

    Like

    • Daniel says:

      I’ve got to quit posting before I’m done with my comments.

      We live in a highly litigious society. One of the results of that is American engineering is, by most appearances, overly careful and cautious to the point of stagnating advancements in technology. The space race to the moon happened because they turned that part of their brains off for a while.

      In socialist Europe, they don’t care so much about those things and it shows.

      Like

      • Sharon says:

        The space race to the moon happened because they turned that part of their brains off for a while.

        Those were wonderful, can-do days. Thank you for saying it – perfectly.

        Like

        • Col.(R) Ken says:

          Sharon, it is my understanding, the Lunar Lander’s computer the size of a shoe box, had 10 functions. Today my watch has more computing power.
          Your right, “can do days”!

          Like

          • Sharon says:

            Oh, yes. The narrative reports of their resources and their processes are enough to make you stand up and cheer.

            The movie – Apollo 13 – is such a pathetically poor description of what those particular days were like and how the men on earth addressed the situation of the men in space and brought them home. The details that brought that situation to a successful conclusion are representative.

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          • Millwright says:

            Somewhere I’ve got a Radio Shack “pocket computer” that ran Basic I . I used it for years to run a lot simple programs dealing with such things as shaft alignments, vibration calcs, conversions, etc. It had far more “computing power” than Armstrong and company had; and it fit in a shirt pocket !

            Like

    • QuadGMoto says:

      I’m pretty sure that all the large jets have a system to prevent the gear from retracting when the plane is on the ground. Obviously they didn’t fix everything that was wrong with the landing gear on this one. 😎

      I can only imagine the look of surprise on the engineer’s face when the cockpit fell out from under him when nothing should have happened. 😉

      Like

    • QuadGMoto says:

      I found a cockpit manual for the A330. According to the description, the landing gear lever is supposed to be locked in the DOWN position when the plane is on the ground. In other words, when the engineer was testing the repairs, it was not supposed to be possible for the switch for the landing gear to be moved. This was definitely a hardware failure of some kind.

      Like

  5. Sharon says:

    The cause is referenced in this line in the article:

    “Maintenance work was being carried out to rectify a defect, and the gear retracted during the subsequent system check,” the airline said.

    Had nuttin’ to do with nobody on the scene.

    “…the gear retracted….”

    Everybody’s minding business, doing their jobs to perfection. And with no notice…..

    “…the gear retracted….”

    Bad gear.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Daniel says:

      Hehe… is this some subtle “gun control” argument parallel?

      Like

    • czarowniczy says:

      There should have been systems, ending with a simple steel pin, that prevents the gear from being accident-ally retracted. That said, we have those little Murphy gremlins who work together to create these ‘Oh SH*T!’ moments.
      We used to see this infrequently in the AF safety bulletins and magazines, someone pushed the ‘don’t push the button’ button and humor ensues.

      Like

      • Millwright says:

        cz, In civilian aviation nobody “safeties” landing gear. Civilian pilots and maintenance types are expected to be “smart enough” not to do “dumb things” . That said, I suspect we civil types are rapidly “catching up” to the military, in some ways, but we have yet to pile up 2+billion dollars of stealth bomber because of water……. [sarc]

        Like

        • czarowniczy says:

          Geez, so when the maint folks are up pushing buttons, pulling levers and generally testing systems to see if they ‘work’ no one’s got safety pins in? OI have some ‘pull before flight’ pins and tapes left over from C-124s so the concepts been around for a long time – but then what could possibly happen?
          No, I’m not going to ask if there’s a chink in their operations…

          Like

  6. ouch. wonder if the engineer onboard was screwing around with the weight on wheels switch.

    Like

  7. bofh says:

    Sorry to see the black-eye for Singapore Air, but they are a terrific airline. And the flight crews. Don’t get me started on the flight crews. A noticeable hush spreads through the terminal when a cluster of their (ahem) attendants arrives and is walked through to the gate. Makes an 18-hour flight almost palatable even in tourist class.

    Like

    • MTeresa says:

      Agreed – they are terrific. We were on a flight to Singapore about 10 years ago and a problem with one of the engines was detected just after take off. After circling the Pacific Ocean to dump the fuel, we landed back at LAX. When departing the aircraft, each and every flight attendant, crew, basically anyone representing Singapore Airlines, bowed as they apologized for the inconvenience. They are a class act and with the exception of this incident, I’m sure have a pretty stellar safety record.

      Like

    • sloth1963 says:

      Had a lovely time every flight on Singapore Air. Between them and Air Lingus for best cabin crews.

      Like

    • czarowniczy says:

      Looks like they’re all waiting for Mothra to land…

      Like

    • Sandra says:

      That crew might be great to some guys, but to many (possibly most) Western women they are cringe-worthy.

      Like

  8. Col.(R) Ken says:

    Reminds me of this story of a A-10 driver many years ago in Germany. During aNATOs exercise the AF was going to use a TAC strip to land, refuel and rearm, then take off. Everything was setup, the pilot circled the strip, his approach was flawless, well he landed,,,forgot to put the wheels down, off the runway thru a few barns, and then into a tree bank.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. TwoLaine says:

    This picture reminds me of someone we know all too well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. goodoldboy66 says:

    THIS IS WHAT OBAMA (aka KENYA DIGGIT) HAS DONE TO AMERICA.

    Like

  11. Jethro says:

    This just in: Representative Sheila Jackson Lee was quoted as saying, “Well I’m glad this incident didn’t happen at 30,000 feet.”

    Like

  12. sloth1963 says:

    On a flight leaving Narita, our pilot decided we weren’t making enough speed. He hit the brakes and all heck broke loose. Blew the tires on the right side and collapsed the landing gear. We slid to a stop on the wing tip. Great Fun! JAL got the bill for a few hundred really expensive hotel rooms and transportation and…

    Best part was singing Christmas carols in the bar with a bunch of Australian, Malaysian and Brit fellow strandees. 🙂

    Strange way to make friends.

    Like

  13. paulgilpin says:

    Here are some supposedly actual logged maintenance complaints and problems as submitted by Qantas pilots and the solution as recorded by Qantas maintenance engineers.

    By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never had an accident.

    (P = The problem logged by the pilot.)
    (S = The solution and action taken by the engineers.)

    P: Left inside main tyre almost needs replacement.
    S: Almost replaced left inside main tyre.

    P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
    S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

    P: Something loose in cockpit.
    S: Something tightened in cockpit.

    P: Dead bugs on windshield.
    S: Live bugs on backorder.

    P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
    S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

    P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
    S: Evidence removed.

    P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
    S: DME volume set to more believable level.

    P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
    S: That’s what they’re there for.

    P: IFF inoperative.
    S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

    P: Suspected crack in windshield.
    S: Suspect you’re right.

    P: Number 3 engine missing.
    S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

    P: Aircraft handles funny.
    S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

    P: Target radar hums.
    S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

    P: Mouse in cockpit.
    S: Cat installed.

    P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
    S: Took hammer away from midget.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sniffy Pop says:

    Have swung may gears on commercial aircraft. The very last thing you do if play with the gear handle when you do not have gear pins in each gear.

    These guy’s must have forgot to pin the gears. Very costly mistake.

    Like

  15. Horsesoldier says:

    Ho lee fuk, sum ting berry wong.

    Like

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