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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 179657
Last updated: 30 November 2020
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Date:17-SEP-2015
Time:12:41
Type:Silhouette image of generic A4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas A-4N Skyhawk
Owner/operator:Top Aces
Registration: C-FGZT
C/n / msn: 14542
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (KIWA), Phoenix, AZ -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Nature:Test
Departure airport:Phoenix, AZ (IWA)
Destination airport:Phoenix, AZ (IWA)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The commercial pilot was conducting a test flight. The pilot reported that, toward the end of the flight, he was scheduled to test the emergency generator. When the generator was deployed, the fuel gauge indicated below “0” remaining fuel, and all of the warning/advisory lights illuminated for a few seconds. The pilot subsequently chose to return to the airport to land.
The pilot reported that, while on the downwind leg, as he was configuring the airplane for a planned drag-chute landing, he became distracted by something in the cockpit that disrupted his checklist flow, but he could not explain what distracted him. As he turned the airplane onto the base leg, he checked the flap and spoiler positions and the landing gear wheel indicators. He noted that he saw three “jittering wheels” but that the gear indicators were difficult to see due to the sun angle and shadows. The pilot then landed the airplane and deployed the drag chute. The airplane slowed very rapidly and came to a rest on the drop tank, which ruptured, and a fire ensued. The pilot egressed from the airplane and noticed that the landing gear were not down. 
A postaccident examination of the landing gear system revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. It is likely that the pilot’s distraction during the downwind leg and his difficulty seeing the landing gear indicators led to his failure to extend the landing gear before landing.

Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to extend the landing gear before landing. Contributing to the accident were the pilot’s distraction during the downwind leg and his difficulty seeing the landing gear indicators due to the sun angle and shadows.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20150922X15659&key=1


Images:

Photo of C-FGZT courtesy AirHistory.net


Wittmundhafen (ETNT)
18 November 2018; (c) Lieuwe Hofstra

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
18-Sep-2015 16:57 Geno Added
20-Sep-2015 12:51 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Source, Narrative]
06-Jun-2016 16:03 Aerossurance Updated [Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
20-Aug-2016 08:31 Aerossurance Updated [Aircraft type]
01-Dec-2017 15:27 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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