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Home > Air Travel > Could you retract the landing gears on ground?
Could you retract the landing gears on ground?
Flying - Air Travel
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 09:12

Boeing 777 Main Landing Gear Retraction Test
 
Hi Capt Lim,

Watching aircraft investigation recently on TV has made me wonder why accidents happen and what could be prevented in the future. This got me thinking about this question.

I have this curiosity - if the pilot accidentally switches the lever to "UP" on ground while taxiing on an uneven path, will this trigger the plane to retract its landing gears?

As I have seen a few pictures of big planes with their nose wheel retracted that causes the front part of the fuselage to fall.

Your response is much appreciated to fulfil my curiosity as this kept me thinking for a while

Thanks,

JR

Hi JR

The design of commercial airliners is such that as long as the plane is on the ground, it is not possible to raise the landing gears. This is because of the weight switches on the gears. When the gear is compressed whilst on the ground, it disconnects an electrical circuit that prevents the switch from being active. So even if the pilot consciously raises the lever to “UP”, it will not move and nothing will happen.

Once airborne, the micro-switch or 'weight switch' will reconnect the electrical circuit as the weight of the aircraft is lifted off the ground and the pilot can then retract the gears.

However, on some planes or non-commercial jets (fighter planes) you could select the gear to the up position on the ground. This is useful in some fighter planes when there is loss of braking - the fastest way to stop the plane in an emergency is to retract the landing gears!

As for commercial planes, the gears cannot be retracted unless the plane is off the ground. See the video attached on testing of the Boeing 777 Main Landing Gears above. The plane has to be on jacks!

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Airbus A380 Gear Testing
 

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Seems you can :)
Drew , 20 Dec, 2014

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