Texting Pilot Forgot to Lower Landing Gear

A Jetstar pilot forgot to lower the landing gear on descent into Singapore because he was texting. That’s the conclusion of a report on the May 27, 2010 Darwin to Singapore flight.

The pilot’s story was that he forgot to turn off his phone prior to takeoff, and he was just trying to turn it off because it was beeping from incoming texts. Priorities, anyone? Just ignore the beeps if you need to, landing is more important.

But what about the co-pilot?

At 1000 feet, the co-pilot scanned the instruments and felt “something was not quite right” but could not spot what it was.

At this stage the captain still did not realise the landing gear had not been lowered, and neither pilot went through their landing checklist.

At 720 feet, a cockpit alert flashed and sounded to warn that the wheels still hadn’t been lowered.

At 650 feet, the captain moved the undercarriage lever “instinctively” but then a “too low” ground-warning alarm sounded as the plane sunk through 500 feet, indicating the landing gear was not fully extended and locked.

The co-pilot was confused by the captain’s action in lowering the wheels, as he was getting ready to do quite the opposite — to abort the landing and re-ascend to the skies, investigators said.

Neither spoke to each other about their intentions.

At 392 feet, the crew aborted the landing and powered up the thrust.

It’s one thing when passengers play Words with Friends with the aircraft door closed. It’s another thing when the pilot does it, on final approach.

(HT: @OneEyeJack7)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @Marc: Did the pilots die as a result of their own action (or inaction) before procreating? Or are you just completely unaware of how the Darin Awards actually work?

  2. At least they did a go around. Most surprising to me is that both pilots ignored the checklist.

  3. @Dax – You got me.. I forgot you have to die to win. I did, however, spell Darwin correctly. Zing!

  4. I love it when people put other people down on the internet, and do so with grammatical errors.

  5. Dax
    3 hrs, 40 mins ago
    @Marc: I saw that after posting but couldn’t figure out how to correct it. Oh well.

    At least the pilots spotted their error and figure out their error.

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