Event Details

Title:Gear-up landing, Boeing 727-243, April 2, 1994
Micro summary:Gear-up landing for this Boeing 727-243.
Event Time:1994-04-02 at 1439 EST
File Name:1994-04-02-US.pdf
Publishing Agency:National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
Publishing Country:USA
Report number:MIA94IA110
Site of event:Orlando, FL
Departure:Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark & Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
Destination:Southwest Florida International, Fort Myers, Florida, USA
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 727-243
Flight Phase:Landing
Operator(s):Continental Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:

NTSB short summary:

The total failure of the left main landing gear door actuator fitting due to fatigue cracking in the fitting. Contributing to the accident was inadequate written inspection procedures by the aircraft manufacturer.

NTSB synopsis:

When landing gear extention was attempted in preparation for landing, the left main landing gear did not extend. The pilot made a go-around, completed the required emergency procedures, could not lower the left main landing gear, and diverted to another airport. The pilot landed with the left main landing gear in the retracted position. The airplane sustained minor damage. The 9 crewmembers and 141 passengers were not injured. Examination of the left main landing gear disclosed a broken landing gear door actuator fitting. Several service bulletins had been issued outlining repetitive inspections procedures aimed at preventing such failures. The operator had complied with all applicable service bulletins and airworthiness directives.

NTSB factual narrative text:

On April 2, 1994, about 1439 eastern standard time, a Boeing 727-243, N59412, registered to Wilmington Trust Company Trustee, leased to and operating as Continental Airlines Flight 1447, on a 14 CFR Part 121 scheduled domestic passenger diverted from the planned destination airport, and landed at Orlando International Airport with the left main landing gear in the up position. The airplane sustained minor damage. The airline transport pilot-in-command, first officer, flight engineer, 6 cabin attendants, and 141 passengers exited the airplane down the emergency slide from the left forward door without injury. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Newark, New Jersey, about 3 hours 54 minutes before the incident.

The airplane came to rest on runway 18R on the left wing leading edge slats, trailing edge flaps, left wing tip, nose tires, and the right main landing gear. Initial examination of the left landing gear system, revealed the left main landing gear door rib attachment fitting had failed preventing the landing gear from extending. Examination of the fitting by the NTSB Materials Laboratory Division, revealed the failure was due to fatigue cracking in the fitting. Review of aircraft records revealed pertinent service bulletins and airworthiness directives pertaining to the fitting had been recorded as having been completed. (For additional information see NTSB Systems Group Chairman's Factual Report, and NTSB Metallurgist's Factual Report).

The digital flight data recorder (DFDR) was forwarded to the NTSB Office of Engineering for analysis. Readout of the recorder revealed the unit was working properly, but not receiving valid data from the flight data acquisition unit (FDAU), due to either a failed FDAU or a failed connection between the FDAU and DFDR. (For additional information see NTSB Digital Flight Data Recorder Factual Report).

The airplane was released to Continental Airlines on April 5, 1994.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Maintenance
Systems - Landing Gear
Systems - Landing Gear - Gear-up Landing
Other - Manufacturing Issues


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