Air safety: Captain ‘ignored landing gear warnings’

A Kalitta Charters II Boeing 727-200(F) landed at Tuscaloosa National Airport with its nose gear retracted after its captain continued with his approach despite automated alerts, the US National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB) has found.

The trijet, N720CK (c/n 21298), was operating a cargo service from Laredo International Airport, Texas on January 27, 2019 when the incident occurred.

The flight departed Laredo at 6.26pm on an IFR flight plan and there were no irregularities nor operational issues reported during the take-off or en route phases of the flight.

Shortly before 8pm local time, the Birmingham Approach air traffic controller advised the four-man crew – which included a flight engineer and a non-revenue mechanic – that the wind at Tuscaloosa was from 200 degrees at 4kts. The crew confirmed that they would use Runway 04 and report when the airport was in sight.

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