CRM Cited In Nasty Scrape

An instructor and student got into an embarrassing scrape at Sault Ste Marie Airport last May when a momentary lapse in cockpit procedure led to the gear-up landing of their CL-415. A Transportation Safety Board report says Crew Resource Management broke down on the training flight when both pilots got wrapped up in shooting an unconventional approach. Air operators who use 2-crew aircraft should ensure that their company SOPs clearly define how checklists are intended to be actioned and that items affecting aircraft configuration are confirmed and verified,” the report says. “Flight crews are reminded to exercise additional vigilance during airborne training flights, given the significant potential for distraction from normal cockpit duties while instruction is taking place.”

The two pilots had just finished two of the three planned touch-and-goes in the amphibious air tanker and the student, the pilot flying, had just called for the gear as he started his base turn. The instructor had decided to change things up for the final landing and told the student to extend the downwind for a flapless landing. He did not lower the gear as commanded by the pilot flying. Instead, he coached the student in the appropriate point to begin the base leg and the student did not call for the gear again at the turn. Because of the flap and power configuration, the gear-up warning did not actuate and the plane settled belly first onto the centreline of the runway. There were no injuries but the hull was seriously damaged and the wingtip floats were slightly damaged.