View Full Version : Air Napier suffers another wheels-up landing

10th Jul 2005, 02:54
Gear jam forces crash landing


By Juliet Rowan

A light plane carrying two people was forced to make an emergency landing at Hawkes Bay Airport yesterday after the front wheel leg failed to extend.

The twin-engine Air Napier Piper Seneca landed on its belly on grass beside the runway, leaving the male pilot and female passenger shaken but unhurt, the airline said.

As emergency services stood by, the pilot carried out a textbook wheels-up landing.

Chief executive Gary Peacock said the aircraft was flying freight from Palmerston North to Napier.

He said it was the second time the wheel leg had failed and forced the 18-year-old aircraft to make an emergency landing.

The pilot radioed to say the leg was stuck while attempting a landing at Wairoa, where the plane had been diverted because of fog. He was ordered to Napier, where he circled for an hour before the fog lifted to allow the wheel-less landing at 8.30am.

The passenger told Mr Peacock the landing, which damaged the front propellers, was "smoother than a normal landing".

Two fire engines and an airport emergency crew were on standby.

The first time the problem occurred was in the early 1990s.

Mr Peacock said the plane would be repaired and returned to service.
From memory, this company had a wheels up some time last year in the Navajo as well. I think it was Gazza Peacock flying that time.

10th Jul 2005, 02:56
The passenger told Mr Peacock the landing, which damaged the front propellers, was "smoother than a normal landing".


10th Jul 2005, 04:21
"Ordered to Napier" held for an hour waiting for fog to clear.

Who then would have been at fault if the fuel ran out before the fog lifted??

Male pilot, female passenger, freight run, probably not the time one would want any undue attention.


Desert Flower
10th Jul 2005, 05:52
which damaged the front propellers,
Really? Did the back ones escape unscathed then?! :D


10th Jul 2005, 06:11
I understand they (journos) get paid per word.

10th Jul 2005, 06:28
if his wheels up landing is "smoother" id hate to be there for a normal one then

10th Jul 2005, 08:03
hehe..the old seneca II has a habit of doing this from time to time..I remember one time our cheif engineer was inspecting our late seneca for the same problem and everytime the nose gear refused to lower he hit the actuator or something above the wheel with his screwdriver handle and down she came...

..beware the nosegear though..they also fold up without warning..there have been a couple of incidences worldwide and engineers have put their hands up..can't find the source of the problem..often on rollout after a "firm" landing

10th Jul 2005, 08:31
Bad luck really :{

Certainly not the first time this has happened on this type in recent years. Lets hope it wasnt caused from having exceded the nose wheel turning limitations as an earlier Vector magazine brought to light not so long ago.

On the plus side at least nothing more serious resulted in this event :ok:

Don Won
11th Jul 2005, 07:53
It's funny how the avaition gods work, and I'm glad who ever the losser is who's working for air napier is ok might shake some sence into the guy to go get a new job.
I'm shure.. no infact I know that most every pilot who's been through that place or have had any dealings the Owner/CP would have too say this kinda thing couldn't happen to a nicer person.

11th Jul 2005, 22:46
waiting for the fog to clear? a bit much of get home it-is me thinks. the nearest airport is hastings - probably suffering the same conditions as napier, then it's wairoa - 35nm away....

speaking of wheels up, what's the goss on the nose gear failure on the chieftan at auckland in the weekend?

12th Jul 2005, 01:20
I think that if the fog could safely be waited out then NR seems the best choice in my opinion - At least the a/c is back at its base and (im not sure here) at its maint. facility.

Sir Pratt,

The Auckland incident was to a Navajo Panther, apparently the nose wheel collopsed on start up with the first engine running. Sounds expensive but at least both the engines wernt running.

12th Jul 2005, 08:18
i'm not denying napier was the best option, it's just the fog issue, getting low on gas - you know - that old chestnut....

and i've flown in the panther - very nice it is too (like an LTD it is....)

Cloud Cutter
12th Jul 2005, 21:26
Didn't the CAA recomend after the Navajo incident that a wheels up should preferably be attempted on the sealed runway - At least he didn't try to land on 2 wheels like his boss.

On a related topic, the seminole with an unsafe left main in Hamilton last week - I can't for the life of me think why they chose to land on the grass (this is the only time I've seen a CTC twin land on the grass, in fact they try to avoid it in the katanas aswell). The boss was flying on this occasion too, everything else was textbook right down to getting the 2IC out to answer media questions if he was injured.

Best wheels up i've seen - the Metro in hamilton about 6-7 years ago - 'smoother than a normal landing' - you better believe it!!!