Lancair Knows News

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Kudos to Lancair International.

Here's a company that is confident in its product, proud of its abilities and honest with anyone who's interested in what they do.

Even when there's a screwup.

Last week, the company flagship Evolution Turbine prototype landed about two feet lower than it normally does. Accidental gear-up landings are always embarrassing and there is no excuse for them.

So it was refreshing that Lancair didn't offer any. In a detailed news release (PDF) which left no doubt how it happened, who was at fault and what the consequences were, names were named, the action plan was detailed and no excuses were offered.

No one was hurt, the plane should be flying by the time you read this and life will go on. Breathtaking.

We ran the story, as did most other aviation outlets, and there wasn't a single misunderstanding among our collective hundreds of thousands of readers as to what happened.

The way these things sometimes go is that someone will tip us but won't have the detail we need to run a story so we'll try to get the information we need from company officials who think the world will end because a distracted pilot forgot the gear (which happens daily, at least).

So, we dig in, we talk to people who may or may not know what's going on and we do the best we can to give readers a picture of what really happened.

The truth is, we probably never get even close to the accuracy of the clear, concise and beautifully honest news release Lancair issued. (Again, the PDF can be read here.)


Sometimes it's easy to present the news.

Comments (7)

The news release says that ONLY the tail cone and rudder were damaged. If it was a gear-up landing, what about the enevitable belly scars and prop damage; not to mention the mandatory engine teardown.

No, this news release is far from full disclosure; and is misleading at best.

Posted by: Roger Dugan | June 27, 2009 9:01 AM    Report this comment

Interesting. Now gear doors are added to the damage list. A far cry from ONLY the tail cone and rudder.

In fairness, I find the witness report of the plane landing on the gear doors highly suspect on multiple levels beginning with the doors not having the structural integrity to hold up the plane while sliding down the runway; and how the doors open in the first place.

Russ, no wonder it was easy for you. They didn't tell you the rest of the story.

Posted by: Roger Dugan | June 28, 2009 1:49 PM    Report this comment

I had no intent to make it sound as if the plane came to rest with the gear doors holding up the plane. From what I understand of what I was told, the plane came to rest on it's belly with the gear doors open. The doors were destroyed and the plane badly damaged; however, they were repairing it as fast as humanly possible.

Posted by: Steven Long | June 28, 2009 2:30 PM    Report this comment

If the flight was a demo with a prospective customer (would have to be a pilot for this kind of rocket), it's a double shame neither of them caught the omission on time. The article above states the pilot, upon sinking low, intentionally ballooned the aircraft and dropped the gear, which obviously didn't get enough time to fully extend before settling again. That would explain how the aircraft ended up resting on the open doors. Still, all the best to pilot and prototype.

Posted by: Peter De Ceulaer | June 29, 2009 4:52 AM    Report this comment

No excuse for an accidental gear up landing? There are hundreds of them, I've heard a lot of them shortly after the screeching stopped and the dust settled. Probably the best was "I just went brain dead, but hey, I kept it on the centerline!" As I understand, the plane didn't have a gear warning horn, if so, a gear up was practically inevitable.

Posted by: Richard Montague | June 29, 2009 9:18 AM    Report this comment

I was the next person to go up in the plane the day the plane landed wheels up. The pilot put the gear down when they realised that the plane was settling too low so the wheels were partly down. I flew the plane a few days ago with Bob. There was some repairs to the aft end with no belly damage. The aircraft is impressive.

Posted by: Steven Wayne | July 1, 2009 10:30 AM    Report this comment

And there's the one about a P-51 that smacked the desert at a Reno Airrace withe NO damage to the prop or scoop! No, really!

Posted by: Larry Fries | July 10, 2009 6:36 PM    Report this comment

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