When the Landing Gear is Down Mid Flight

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I’m inflight, about an hour from my destination, and the landing gear is already down…

airplane landing gearThis is a first for me. I took my last mileage run today to hit 125,000 elite qualifying miles on US Airways and everything was going well until this last leg, which has turned into a comedy of minor errors culminating in the pilot’s announcement (at least I hope it’s the last thing!).

The pilot, who did a great job of updating us throughout the delays, came on to let us know that we had too much fuel onboard and we had two options for landing in DC. We could circle for half an hour when we got there and risk making the curfew. Or we could fly with our landing gear down for a good long while.

They were choosing the latter which would result in additional noise, but we were assured, was perfectly safe and not all that unusual. Who knew?

It is a bit loud, but no worse than flying in a CRJ. Still feels a little surreal though, but that could just be 12+ hours of flights today…

What’s your strangest plane story?


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  1. paul v

    December 18, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Flew once from Crete to the UK with the gear down on a military flight once. Appropriate maintainers/parts/tools weren’t available in Crete so we received one time approval to make the flight. Flew at 10,000 ft instead of our usual 35K, and the flight was SLOW, COLD and LOUD. We burned an incredible amount of fuel with that much added drag, so had turned off all non-essential equipment onboard leaving it dark and cold in the back of the plane. Almost had to divert into an airfield in France as our fuel reserves were getting low, but in the end were able to go straight through to our destination.

  2. Michael

    December 19, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    First one:
    Flying on Singapore Airlines on the 777 from SFO we were well into the “night” phase of our flight. I was enjoying my lay-flat bed when suddenly a giant thud occurred right next to my head. After peeling myself off of the roof of the airplane and the lights being turned on, it was apparent that one of the vent cover panels on the roof of the plane had fallen loose. It was no issue – the attendants quickly took care of the part and assured everyone we were safe.

    Of course the night was ruined for sleep so I just watched another season of 2 1/2 men.

    Second one:

    This week flying US from PHX to YVR on a 319 we had a 1 hour delay because of a broken lav in 1st (I was to sit next to it, glad they fixed it). Once we were underway I took a nap, I am usually woken when service starts and I can start working from the plane. After about 90 minutes I woke and checked the time – thinking it was odd that the attendants were still seated, and out the window was still Arizona landscape, I started to look around. No one seemed worried and we were in a climb. A few minutes later the captain came on to tell us we had burned off enough fuel to land. Turns out I missed the first announcement about the engine trouble and that we had to go back to PHX. Good thing the climb and descend roller coaster kept rocking me to sleep!

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