11th of April 2017
A Gulfstream G450 was scheduled to operate a VIP flight from Salzburg (Austria) to Bangor (Maine, USA), onboard a crew of 2 and two passengers. After flight preparations were completed the engines were started and at 10:12 local time the aircraft took off from runway 33.
The aircraft resting on its nose after the nose landing gear retracted (source: www.kathrynsreport.com)
With a positive rate of climb indicted the gear was selected up as the aircraft gained more and more altitude. 20 seconds after the gear was selected up the crew observed that the gear and not retraced and was indicating down and locked. The crew suspected the landing gear safety pins were still installed, inhibiting the landing gear retraction. A return to Salzburg was requested from ATC, which was granted, and 5 minutes after takeoff the aircraft touched down at runway 15 at Salzburg. After vacating the runway ATC issued instructions to the crew to taxi to the apron. While on taxiway E the crew observed that there seems to be a resistance slowing the aircraft down, suspecting a flat tire they stopped on the taxiway. Without informing ATC the crew decided to do an external check of the aircraft, for a possible flat tire and check if the landing gear safety pins were still installed.. While the captain left the cockpit to brief the passengers on the situation, the co-pilot left the aircraft to check the tires and landing gear safety pins. While the crew was out of the flight deck (while the engines were running) ATC attempted for several minutes to contact the crew to ask why they stopped. Another aircraft informed ATC that a crew member had left the aircraft and was walking on the taxiway.
Firefighters at the scene of the incident (Source: www.kathrynsreport.com)
The copilot, who had noticed the landing gear safety pins were still installed, attempted to remove the safety pin from the nose landing gear., however as the landing gear hydraulics were still pressurised. He then cycled the gear door control valves several times and installed safety pins in the landing gear doors control valve.. This caused the landing gear doors to close again and depressurise the main and nose landing gear hydraulics. The landing gear safety pins could now be removed. After the nose landing gear safety pin was removed the nose landing gear bay doors opened and the landing gear retracted, causing the aircraft's nose to settle on the taxiway, a short while later the engines were shut down.
The aircraft was recovered and repaired.
Video made shortly after the aircraft's nose landing gear retracted on the taxiway (©Salzburg 24)
The accident is still under investigation by the Austrian Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Authority. This blog has been written based on open-source information on the internet and might not give an exact representation of the facts of this accident