Quiz Me: What do I have to report to the NTSB?

July 12, 2013

Here's an edited question asked by an AOPA member who contacted our aviation services staff through the AOPA Pilot Information Center. Test your knowledge.

Question: My friend forgot to extend the landing gear before landing, which resulted in a gear-up landing. There were no injuries, but there is minor damage to the propeller and dents in the lower cowl and fuselage. Does this need to be reported to the NTSB?

Answer: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) requires aircraft operators to immediately report all aircraft accidents and certain serious incidents. The operator must determine if the gear-up landing falls into either category. According to the regulation, this is not a serious incident that requires immediate notification. It may be an accident, but that depends on the extent of the damage. The operator must determine if the damage in this event meets the NTSB definition of substantial damage. If the operator is unsure whether the damage to the aircraft would qualify the event as an accident, it would be wise to seek legal counsel before speaking to the NTSB or FAA.