|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : 061|
airport : o61
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Transport, Low Wing, 2 Recip Eng|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 4000
flight time type : 2000
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
none taken : unable
I received an amended clearance direct cameron park. The WX was clear until approximately the last 100 mi. At that time in the distance I saw a large WX front that seemed to be higher than the level I was flying at. I turned on my propeller de-ice, my stall warning de-ice and both pitot heats to get ready for entrance into possible icing conditions. A short while later, I entered the clouds and experienced light snow and some occasional icing. At this time, everything was working properly. As I started to descent, it became increasingly turbulence with heavier WX, so I slowed down some. During the descent both alternators failed simultaneously. I performed the alternator failure checklist. No help. I spent some time considering what else could be downloaded. Was considering informing ATC, but shortly became VFR. I cancelled IFR and had the cameron park area in sight. I made a right hand turn and at this time the runway lights were visible along with other lighted terrain features. There were numerous rain showers in the vicinity, and continual moderate plus turbulence. At this point the panel lights were operating properly and the gear was retracted. I encountered a heavy rain shower, still with moderate turbulence. After turning downwind, I lowered my landing gear, acknowledging the 3 green lights, turned on my landing lights, added the appropriate amount of flaps and proceeded around the pattern for runway 13. Just before turning my base leg, it became increasingly apparent that maintaining VFR conditions for a safe landing was not going to happen. I turned away from the airport, retracted the gear and flaps, turned off my landing lights west/O retracting them, to conserve the battery. I turned to the best available VFR conditions and re-entered the pattern one more time with my gear retracted. However, at that time, I did notice my lights were considerably more dim in the cockpit. I got downwind again, put out the first notch of flaps and then put landing gear down again. There were no lights on the panel or exterior of the aircraft. As I turned final I had the runway clearly in sight with heavy rain and moderate turbulence. I distinctly remember that I went through my final checklist (gump). I checked the fuel boosts, physically put my hand on the gear down actuator level and checked for the down position. I checked the flaps to be full down, but heard no warning horn to indicate the gear was still up. Due to almost no cockpit lighting remaining, I had now resorted to using a flashlight to direct light at the important flight instruments. I chopped the power sooner than normal because I was slightly faster and higher than normal, but heard no gear warning horn. A few seconds later, I realized the gear was not down. The plane slid to a stop, I turned off the master switch, said a few words I cannot repeat in this report and left the airplane immediately to seek help so it would not become a hazard for the next plane landing. The airplane was lifted by a crane. The man inside of the airplane put the gear down through normal procedures--which I could not understand or believe! I called first inspector of the airplane and questioned him as to whether the gear lever was up or down along with the flaps. He said it was down. I later got into the airplane, and turned the master switch on. The instrument panel lights came on normally, but after just a few seconds they went out completely. The plane sat on the ground for 2-2 1/2 hours with all switches off, which may account for the battery charging to such a degree that the gear would go down normally since the gear selector was already in the down position.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: DOUBLE ALTERNATOR FAILURE IN ICING, SNOW AND RAIN. GEAR UP LNDG.
Narrative: I RECEIVED AN AMENDED CLRNC DIRECT CAMERON PARK. THE WX WAS CLR UNTIL APPROX THE LAST 100 MI. AT THAT TIME IN THE DISTANCE I SAW A LARGE WX FRONT THAT SEEMED TO BE HIGHER THAN THE LEVEL I WAS FLYING AT. I TURNED ON MY PROP DE-ICE, MY STALL WARNING DE-ICE AND BOTH PITOT HEATS TO GET READY FOR ENTRANCE INTO POSSIBLE ICING CONDITIONS. A SHORT WHILE LATER, I ENTERED THE CLOUDS AND EXPERIENCED LIGHT SNOW AND SOME OCCASIONAL ICING. AT THIS TIME, EVERYTHING WAS WORKING PROPERLY. AS I STARTED TO DESCENT, IT BECAME INCREASINGLY TURB WITH HEAVIER WX, SO I SLOWED DOWN SOME. DURING THE DSCNT BOTH ALTERNATORS FAILED SIMULTANEOUSLY. I PERFORMED THE ALTERNATOR FAILURE CHKLIST. NO HELP. I SPENT SOME TIME CONSIDERING WHAT ELSE COULD BE DOWNLOADED. WAS CONSIDERING INFORMING ATC, BUT SHORTLY BECAME VFR. I CANCELLED IFR AND HAD THE CAMERON PARK AREA IN SIGHT. I MADE A RIGHT HAND TURN AND AT THIS TIME THE RWY LIGHTS WERE VISIBLE ALONG WITH OTHER LIGHTED TERRAIN FEATURES. THERE WERE NUMEROUS RAIN SHOWERS IN THE VICINITY, AND CONTINUAL MODERATE PLUS TURB. AT THIS POINT THE PANEL LIGHTS WERE OPERATING PROPERLY AND THE GEAR WAS RETRACTED. I ENCOUNTERED A HVY RAIN SHOWER, STILL WITH MODERATE TURB. AFTER TURNING DOWNWIND, I LOWERED MY LNDG GEAR, ACKNOWLEDGING THE 3 GREEN LIGHTS, TURNED ON MY LNDG LIGHTS, ADDED THE APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF FLAPS AND PROCEEDED AROUND THE PATTERN FOR RWY 13. JUST BEFORE TURNING MY BASE LEG, IT BECAME INCREASINGLY APPARENT THAT MAINTAINING VFR CONDITIONS FOR A SAFE LNDG WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I TURNED AWAY FROM THE ARPT, RETRACTED THE GEAR AND FLAPS, TURNED OFF MY LNDG LIGHTS W/O RETRACTING THEM, TO CONSERVE THE BATTERY. I TURNED TO THE BEST AVAILABLE VFR CONDITIONS AND RE-ENTERED THE PATTERN ONE MORE TIME WITH MY GEAR RETRACTED. HOWEVER, AT THAT TIME, I DID NOTICE MY LIGHTS WERE CONSIDERABLY MORE DIM IN THE COCKPIT. I GOT DOWNWIND AGAIN, PUT OUT THE FIRST NOTCH OF FLAPS AND THEN PUT LNDG GEAR DOWN AGAIN. THERE WERE NO LIGHTS ON THE PANEL OR EXTERIOR OF THE ACFT. AS I TURNED FINAL I HAD THE RWY CLEARLY IN SIGHT WITH HEAVY RAIN AND MODERATE TURB. I DISTINCTLY REMEMBER THAT I WENT THROUGH MY FINAL CHKLIST (GUMP). I CHKED THE FUEL BOOSTS, PHYSICALLY PUT MY HAND ON THE GEAR DOWN ACTUATOR LEVEL AND CHKED FOR THE DOWN POS. I CHKED THE FLAPS TO BE FULL DOWN, BUT HEARD NO WARNING HORN TO INDICATE THE GEAR WAS STILL UP. DUE TO ALMOST NO COCKPIT LIGHTING REMAINING, I HAD NOW RESORTED TO USING A FLASHLIGHT TO DIRECT LIGHT AT THE IMPORTANT FLT INSTRUMENTS. I CHOPPED THE PWR SOONER THAN NORMAL BECAUSE I WAS SLIGHTLY FASTER AND HIGHER THAN NORMAL, BUT HEARD NO GEAR WARNING HORN. A FEW SECS LATER, I REALIZED THE GEAR WAS NOT DOWN. THE PLANE SLID TO A STOP, I TURNED OFF THE MASTER SWITCH, SAID A FEW WORDS I CANNOT REPEAT IN THIS RPT AND LEFT THE AIRPLANE IMMEDIATELY TO SEEK HELP SO IT WOULD NOT BECOME A HAZARD FOR THE NEXT PLANE LNDG. THE AIRPLANE WAS LIFTED BY A CRANE. THE MAN INSIDE OF THE AIRPLANE PUT THE GEAR DOWN THROUGH NORMAL PROCS--WHICH I COULD NOT UNDERSTAND OR BELIEVE! I CALLED FIRST INSPECTOR OF THE AIRPLANE AND QUESTIONED HIM AS TO WHETHER THE GEAR LEVER WAS UP OR DOWN ALONG WITH THE FLAPS. HE SAID IT WAS DOWN. I LATER GOT INTO THE AIRPLANE, AND TURNED THE MASTER SWITCH ON. THE INSTRUMENT PANEL LIGHTS CAME ON NORMALLY, BUT AFTER JUST A FEW SECONDS THEY WENT OUT COMPLETELY. THE PLANE SAT ON THE GND FOR 2-2 1/2 HRS WITH ALL SWITCHES OFF, WHICH MAY ACCOUNT FOR THE BATTERY CHARGING TO SUCH A DEGREE THAT THE GEAR WOULD GO DOWN NORMALLY SINCE THE GEAR SELECTOR WAS ALREADY IN THE DOWN POS.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.