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TWA Probing Pilot's Failure to Drop Wheels

July 22, 1987|United Press International

LONDON — Trans World Airlines is investigating a pilot's failure to lower the wheels of his Boeing 747 until a sharp-eyed air-traffic controller shouted a warning less than a minute before the plane was to land, officials say.

The plane, on a flight last Friday from New York to London with 380 passengers, was only 200 to 250 feet off the ground approaching Heathrow Airport's main runway when the controller noticed the problem, officials said Monday.

"Hey, you haven't got your gear down!" the controller shouted.

The startled pilot immediately aborted the landing. After making a steep climb and another approach, he landed safely, said a spokesman for Britain's Civil Aviation Authority.

TWA immediately suspended the pilot--an American with 20 years of flying experience--along with the first officer and the flight engineer.

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