Cat. 3 investigation report: report concerning an occurrence with limited consequences, based on one or more statements not independently validated by the BEA.
This is a courtesy translation by the BEA of the Final Report on the Safety Investigation published in April 2021. As accurate as the translation may be, the original text in French is the work of reference.
Note: The following information is principally based on statements made by the pilot. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.
1 - HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT
The pilot took off at around 11:00 from paved runway 20 of Roanne aerodrome for a local training flight. After having performed two aerodrome circuits with touch-and-go landings, he performed a practice forced landing with reduced power for runway 20. Downwind, he performed from memory and following the scan pattern, the downwind do-list. He checked in on the frequency for a touch-and-go, lined up on final and performed the associated do-list. The pilot landed with the gear retracted, the aeroplane slid and stopped on the runway.
2 - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
2.1 Pilot information
The pilot held a private pilot licence issued in October 2016. At the time of the accident, he had logged approximately 175 flight hours, of which about 50 hours were on F-HTTC. The two flights before the accident, in January 2021 and October 2020, were on F-HTTC.
The pilot indicated that he had initially booked a fixed-gear aeroplane, but changed his reservation just before the flight after noticing that F-HTTC was available.
He explained that during the approach his attention was focused on the path, speed and aiming point. He also stated that he was not familiar with runway 20 in the context of a practice forced landing. On the right hand approach to runway 20, the pilot does not naturally have sight of the left wing, on which the Pitot probe is equipped with a mirror reflecting the nose wheel.
He believed that these reasons, combined with an "insidious" fatigue related to his personal situation, could have led him to forget to extend the landing gear.
2.2 Landing gear position indicators
On the Cessna 177-RG, an aural warning sounds intermittently when the manifold pressure is below twelve inches of mercury to indicate that the gear is retracted or extended but unlocked. Two lights, located on the instrument panel to the left of the elevator trim control, also indicate the position of the landing gear: the green light illuminates when the gear is down and locked and the orange light, located below it, illuminates when the gear is manoeuvring or unlocked. The pilot indicated that he did not pay attention to the lights, their position on the lower part of the instrument panel not being in his visual field. He also explained that he did not hear the aural warning during the approach, because of its low volume (which he had noticed before) combined with a probable tunnel effect during the practice forced landing.
Finally, he specified that he had checked the operation of the aural warning for the landing gear not extended, as well as the associated light indicators, during the pre-flight inspection. After the accident, the maintenance-facility aeroplane mechanic was able to test and confirm the correct operation of the landing gear extension system and of the aural warning.
 This do-list includes the item, check green light lit for landing gear down and locked.