A Jetstar pilot forgot to lower the landing gear on descent into Singapore because he was texting. That’s the conclusion of a report on the May 27, 2010 Darwin to Singapore flight.

The pilot’s story was that he forgot to turn off his phone prior to takeoff, and he was just trying to turn it off because it was beeping from incoming texts. Priorities, anyone? Just ignore the beeps if you need to, landing is more important.

But what about the co-pilot?

At 1000 feet, the co-pilot scanned the instruments and felt “something was not quite right” but could not spot what it was.

At this stage the captain still did not realise the landing gear had not been lowered, and neither pilot went through their landing checklist.

At 720 feet, a cockpit alert flashed and sounded to warn that the wheels still hadn’t been lowered.

At 650 feet, the captain moved the undercarriage lever “instinctively” but then a “too low” ground-warning alarm sounded as the plane sunk through 500 feet, indicating the landing gear was not fully extended and locked.

The co-pilot was confused by the captain’s action in lowering the wheels, as he was getting ready to do quite the opposite — to abort the landing and re-ascend to the skies, investigators said.

Neither spoke to each other about their intentions.

At 392 feet, the crew aborted the landing and powered up the thrust.

It’s one thing when passengers play Words with Friends with the aircraft door closed. It’s another thing when the pilot does it, on final approach.

(HT: @OneEyeJack7)

  1. Marc said,

    Only fitting the flight was from Darwin.. those pilots should co-win a Darwin Award.

  2. Dax said,

    @Marc: Did the pilots die as a result of their own action (or inaction) before procreating? Or are you just completely unaware of how the Darin Awards actually work?

  3. clearedcustoms said,

    At least they did a go around. Most surprising to me is that both pilots ignored the checklist.

  4. Marc said,

    @Dax – You got me.. I forgot you have to die to win. I did, however, spell Darwin correctly. Zing!

  5. Dax said,

    @Marc: I saw that after posting but couldn’t figure out how to correct it. Oh well.

  6. milevalue said,

    The part about the pilots not communicating, and even working at cross purposes, reminded me of this article on the Air France crash.


    It’s amazing that the pilots don’t communicate in emergencies when it’s most needed.

  7. Jayson said,

    I love it when people put other people down on the internet, and do so with grammatical errors.

  8. NB said,

    3 hrs, 40 mins ago
    @Marc: I saw that after posting but couldn’t figure out how to correct it. Oh well.

    At least the pilots spotted their error and figure out their error.

  9. ‘Round the Blogosphere | Field Of Burch said,

    […] posted an interesting read yesterday, about a Jetstar pilot so busy texting on his phone that he forgot to put the landing gear down.  Here is the account of how it went down, no pun […]

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