Andries Marais

Aviation specialist focused on SMS with pre-emptive risk management. An impeccable record in court as expert witness.

To my later embarrassment I once severely chastised a young pilot at the squadron for landing a military T6 trainer wheels up. The very next day I was distracted by the control tower twice - first just as my hand went to the left side of the cockpit to lower the gear and I pressed the PTT on the throttle, and then again to feel the gear lever in the down position. 

I was instructed to extend my downwind leg in the pattern and the ATC kept up a constant review of a Mach2 fighter in an emergency pattern, low on fuel. Eventually I turned final, keeping a look out for the Dassault Mirage III. Then I realized I was staying high in my approach. Also there was on top of the babbling ATC a very annoying noise in the cockpit, which finally proved to be the landing gear warning horn that sounded as I reduced power to regain a stabilized approach. By taking away the horn in order to hear the ATC I kept the power up..... 

On short finals I decided to take power and go around and do another hopefully perfect approach and then, when I wanted to raise the gear I realized it had never been lowered. 

After a perfect second approach and with a bad stomach I landed and went and bought the young chap a coffee and apologised to him and explained the whole sequence of my own near smear onto the runway. A lesson for both of us.