This “Pilot’s Tip of the Week” was originally published 11/25/2015. To get free tips like this each week, subscribe at the bottom of the page.

Pilot's tip of the week

When To Put The Landing Gear Down


Subscriber question:

 "When should you put the gear down on a retractable gear airplane?" - Bob W.


Gear Down“I prefer and have always taught students to extend the landing gear before downwind entry. This slows the aircraft and allows trimming for the gear down condition, as well as allowing a slower speed for purposes of blending with other traffic. I say this assuming a VFR flight.

On an IFR flight, assuming an instrument approach is being performed, it is best to extend the gear at glideslope intercept for a precision approach or at the final approach fix on a non-precision approach. Doing so will help you set up a stabilized approach.”

(NEW) VFR Mastery scenario #67 “A Swift Decision” is now available. A pre-takeoff briefing exists to remove hesitation and doubt from split-second emergency decisions after takeoff. The problem is that most real-world departures present several opportunities to go off script. Some of those improvisations could turn an off-field crash into an uneventful runway landing—or a disaster. Watch the Intro video.

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