Question about Landing Gear Implementation
I recently had a brain fart and forgot to pull up my gear before 300 kts. and had hung landing gear. The Left Rear LG indicator light went dark when I first attempted to raise the LG but the Nose and Right Rear lamps stayed on. I cycled the LG handle again and got all three lights to go out. Caught up with my wingman for a visual check and he said I had all my LG stowed and didn’t see any doors open so I went along with the mission as planned with no issues.
On egress, due to my earlier mishap and the fact that I was low on fuel, we decided I would take an alternate airbase so I wouldn’t cause an issue with a closed runway at home plate. When I contacted the alternate and got in the pattern I decided to use the ALTERNATE GEAR EXTENSION due to my error on take off and suspicion that the landing gear might be damaged. I was expecting one of the rear wheels to malfunction due to earlier indications. To my surprise I had both rear wheel indicators illuminated and the nose wheel was dark. I also had no indication on the HUD for approach. After some quick discussion with the flight lead about weather or not to eject somewhere safe or try to land it I decided I would try to land with damaged nose(?) gear.
It is shortly after this point that the unexpected occurred and brings me to my question. When I turned on final and my airspeed dropped below 180 kts, I heard a clunk and noticed I was now getting landing cues on the HUD. I looked at the LG indicator lights and my Nose indicator was now green. I continued in for a successful landing and was able to use braking to clear the EOR since I lost usage of my NWS as a result of using the Alt Gear.
That being said, my question is…Will gravity cause the nose wheel to lock into place after falling below a certain speed when using the Alt. Landing Gear? I have read about this somewhere, but can’t remember exactly where. Tried to find in the docs. and this is the closest thing I could find…
T.O. BMS1F-16CM-1 (Page 235)
“Alternate gear extension provides a pneumatic ‘use only once’ means to lower the landing gear. The alternate gear handle when pulled opens the landing gear doors, release the main legs from stowing and they lower and lock in place thanks to gravity and airflow. The nose wheel lowers against airflow and must be pushed forward thanks to the pneumatic system of the alternate gear extension. For this reason, it should be accomplished at the lowest possible airspeed below 300 knots and preferably below 190 knots to ensure nose wheel gear lock.”
Thanks in advance for any insight!
@schnidrman If you practice this in a TR mission I think you’ll find that is the normal experience with alt gear… ie. nose gear drops into place below ~180 kts and that is what triggers the HUD symbology.
In terms of emergency procedures, in your situation (suspected overspeed damage) I don’t know if there’s a strong reason to avoid the normal LG hydraulics and go straight to alt-gear, though.
Your lead or wingman should have kept close alongside, to keep eyes on your gear and report back to you when the nose gear fully dropped. (Unless perhaps it was night.)
That being said, my question is…***Will gravity cause the nose wheel to lock into place after falling below a certain speed when using the Alt. Landing Gear?
Yes, at about or below 180 knots, gravity will overtake airstream drag and allow the nose gear to drop if not damaged.
Thanks for the reply’s. Was not sure if this was actually modeled in the sim and was surprised when it happened. Couldn’t find the exact documentation in the manuals so thought I’d ask around.
Thanks! Excellent explanation.