|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : sac|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 1000
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Route In Use||approach : circling|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 41|
flight time total : 1006
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
non adherence : published procedure
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I departed sac at XA00 local en route to salinas. Approximately 15 mi south of sac my alternator went off line. I proceeded 5 mi further trying to get alternator back on line. I was unable to do so at this point I returned to sac. Approximately 7 mi out I dropped my gear. My battery went completely dead. I had no lights (gear) at this point I called sac tower with an onboard phone with separate battery source informing them that I was returning to sac with an alternator failure. No radios and no green lights on my gear. The tower informed me to proceed inbound and wag my wings on downwind. The phone at this time went dead. I then cranked my gear per owners manual in a counter clockwise direction. The gear crank became very hard to turn and I then proceeded to downwind. I then called the tower again and on final they told me to go around. Proceeding south of the airport I tried to crank the gear further. After turning the crank about 10 more revolutions it became very easy and then had a firm stop. At this point I was sure that the gear was fully extended. Re-entering the pattern on a left downwind for runway 20 I was going to do one more flyby to assure myself that the gear was down and locked. When I was about 1/3 of the way down the runway I was able to see steady red lights from the tower. At mid field the lights went to flashing greens. At this point I felt that the tower had confirmed my gear position and returned and landed with the gear in a full retracted position. On final I was unable to see the lights in the tower due to the reflection from the sun on the tower. I feel that a flashing red and green may have been more suitable at the time. I was asked to provide my pilot certificate, medical, registration, and airworthiness certificate. In the haste I was only able to come up with the airworthiness certificate. My wallet was recently stolen and I had not replaced certificates yet, I was in the possession of the other half of my pilot certificate. Callback conversation with reporter revealed following information. Conversation revealed the electrical problem was caused by a high starter drain which took the battery down so far it eventually shorted, knocking out the alternator. When the gear was dropped which is also electrical that completely depleted the battery killing normal communication. Hand held set worked until after the initial tower fly by during which tower confirmed gear only half way down. At this time tower gave instructions on re-entering pattern after trouble shooting in case of complete communication failure which did happen. Pilot admits in turning around to crank gear down rest of way he got counter clockwise disoriented and cranked gear wrong direction actually cranking it clear up instead of clear down. Flashing green light following steady red on second fly by plus his firm stop on gear crank led him to believe gear was down. FAA has investigated incident and given him an oral on aircraft and will give him check ride before he flies again. They have checked with okc and issued him a temporary airmen certificate until he gets permanent replacement for stolen certificate. During investigation no mention was made by FAA of tower giving red light on final so suspect none was given.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA UNABLE GET GEAR SAFE LIGHT AFTER LOSS OF PRIMARY ELECTRICAL HAS COMPLETE RADIO FAILURE, INADVERTENTLY CRANKS GEAR UP INSTEAD OF REST OF WAY DOWN AND LANDS WITH GEAR UP AFTER GETTING FLASHING GREEN LIGHT FROM TWR. ALSO WAS OPERATING WITHOUT LICENSE WHICH HAD BEEN STOLEN.
Narrative: I DEPARTED SAC AT XA00 LCL ENRTE TO SALINAS. APPROX 15 MI S OF SAC MY ALTERNATOR WENT OFF LINE. I PROCEEDED 5 MI FURTHER TRYING TO GET ALTERNATOR BACK ON LINE. I WAS UNABLE TO DO SO AT THIS POINT I RETURNED TO SAC. APPROX 7 MI OUT I DROPPED MY GEAR. MY BATTERY WENT COMPLETELY DEAD. I HAD NO LIGHTS (GEAR) AT THIS POINT I CALLED SAC TWR WITH AN ONBOARD PHONE WITH SEPARATE BATTERY SOURCE INFORMING THEM THAT I WAS RETURNING TO SAC WITH AN ALTERNATOR FAILURE. NO RADIOS AND NO GREEN LIGHTS ON MY GEAR. THE TWR INFORMED ME TO PROCEED INBND AND WAG MY WINGS ON DOWNWIND. THE PHONE AT THIS TIME WENT DEAD. I THEN CRANKED MY GEAR PER OWNERS MANUAL IN A COUNTER CLOCKWISE DIRECTION. THE GEAR CRANK BECAME VERY HARD TO TURN AND I THEN PROCEEDED TO DOWNWIND. I THEN CALLED THE TWR AGAIN AND ON FINAL THEY TOLD ME TO GO AROUND. PROCEEDING S OF THE ARPT I TRIED TO CRANK THE GEAR FURTHER. AFTER TURNING THE CRANK ABOUT 10 MORE REVOLUTIONS IT BECAME VERY EASY AND THEN HAD A FIRM STOP. AT THIS POINT I WAS SURE THAT THE GEAR WAS FULLY EXTENDED. RE-ENTERING THE PATTERN ON A L DOWNWIND FOR RWY 20 I WAS GOING TO DO ONE MORE FLYBY TO ASSURE MYSELF THAT THE GEAR WAS DOWN AND LOCKED. WHEN I WAS ABOUT 1/3 OF THE WAY DOWN THE RWY I WAS ABLE TO SEE STEADY RED LIGHTS FROM THE TWR. AT MID FIELD THE LIGHTS WENT TO FLASHING GREENS. AT THIS POINT I FELT THAT THE TWR HAD CONFIRMED MY GEAR POS AND RETURNED AND LANDED WITH THE GEAR IN A FULL RETRACTED POS. ON FINAL I WAS UNABLE TO SEE THE LIGHTS IN THE TWR DUE TO THE REFLECTION FROM THE SUN ON THE TWR. I FEEL THAT A FLASHING RED AND GREEN MAY HAVE BEEN MORE SUITABLE AT THE TIME. I WAS ASKED TO PROVIDE MY PLT CERTIFICATE, MEDICAL, REGISTRATION, AND AIRWORTHINESS CERTIFICATE. IN THE HASTE I WAS ONLY ABLE TO COME UP WITH THE AIRWORTHINESS CERTIFICATE. MY WALLET WAS RECENTLY STOLEN AND I HAD NOT REPLACED CERTIFICATES YET, I WAS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE OTHER HALF OF MY PLT CERTIFICATE. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED FOLLOWING INFO. CONVERSATION REVEALED THE ELECTRICAL PROB WAS CAUSED BY A HIGH STARTER DRAIN WHICH TOOK THE BATTERY DOWN SO FAR IT EVENTUALLY SHORTED, KNOCKING OUT THE ALTERNATOR. WHEN THE GEAR WAS DROPPED WHICH IS ALSO ELECTRICAL THAT COMPLETELY DEPLETED THE BATTERY KILLING NORMAL COM. HAND HELD SET WORKED UNTIL AFTER THE INITIAL TWR FLY BY DURING WHICH TWR CONFIRMED GEAR ONLY HALF WAY DOWN. AT THIS TIME TWR GAVE INSTRUCTIONS ON RE-ENTERING PATTERN AFTER TROUBLE SHOOTING IN CASE OF COMPLETE COM FAILURE WHICH DID HAPPEN. PLT ADMITS IN TURNING AROUND TO CRANK GEAR DOWN REST OF WAY HE GOT COUNTER CLOCKWISE DISORIENTED AND CRANKED GEAR WRONG DIRECTION ACTUALLY CRANKING IT CLR UP INSTEAD OF CLR DOWN. FLASHING GREEN LIGHT FOLLOWING STEADY RED ON SECOND FLY BY PLUS HIS FIRM STOP ON GEAR CRANK LED HIM TO BELIEVE GEAR WAS DOWN. FAA HAS INVESTIGATED INCIDENT AND GIVEN HIM AN ORAL ON ACFT AND WILL GIVE HIM CHK RIDE BEFORE HE FLIES AGAIN. THEY HAVE CHKED WITH OKC AND ISSUED HIM A TEMPORARY AIRMEN CERTIFICATE UNTIL HE GETS PERMANENT REPLACEMENT FOR STOLEN CERTIFICATE. DURING INVESTIGATION NO MENTION WAS MADE BY FAA OF TWR GIVING RED LIGHT ON FINAL SO SUSPECT NONE WAS GIVEN.
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.