"Extremely serious incident" as landing gear still up 1 minute before landing

Vietnam Airlines is under fire after the pilots forgot to extend the landing gear on approach to Melbourne Airport yesterday. The 787-9 aircraft got as low as 675 feet or one minute before touchdown without the landing gear being deployed. The pilots then decided to execute a go-around due to the gear not being down, as many of you may know, even on a simulator go-around are common however the dangerous circumstances of this go-around, was not. The aircraft landed safely on the second attempt at landing however a pilot from another high profile airline said “It indicated a breakdown in standard operating procedures, they are less than a minute from touchdown. They should have received an alert that the gear was not down.”

The Australian Transport Saftey Beruau branded it a “Extremely serious incident” and have prepared a summary while they investigate.

"The ATSB is investigating an incorrect configuration incident involving a Boeing 787, registered VN-A870, flight VN781, operated by Vietnam Airlines near Melbourne Airport, Victoria, on 19 September 2019.

During the approach to land, Melbourne Air Traffic Control advised the crew that the aircraft’s landing gear was observed not to be extended. The crew initiated a missed approach.

As part of the investigation, the ATSB will obtain information from the flight crew, and additional information as required.

A report will be released at the end of the investigation. Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify those affected and seek safety action to address the issue"

VN-A870, the aircraft involved full image credit


We’ve all been there…


Can’t agree with you more…


Yikes! This sounds like my first month of flying in IF! I didn’t know why I kept crashing and eventually I realized I never had my gear down. Glad no one was hurt.


I’ve been on Vietnam airways and on just 1 flight I noticed 2 things

-Pilots had to realign with runway when taxing onto it

-The N1 was all over the place before landing with big throttle up before touchdown

I remember not so long ago as well Vietnam airways pilots landed on the wrong runway.

1 Like

Yup, that has happened to me at least once or twice XD


I can only imagine what the spotters were thinking…


What would alert them at the last minute that they forgot?

They were clearly ignoring the gear up warning that should of resulted from landing configuration.

So they must of gotten a Terrain warning once they got too low?


Not sure if there’s a terrain warning if they are following an approach procedure (e.g. ILS), but they (at least) shouldn’t be able to complete their landing checklist.

Is this the casual server?


You can always go around

Good thing everything went well.


Some kind of GPWS warning, probably “too low, gear”

Im not sure what N1 has to do with anything, The Standard Procedure from boeing on the 787 and 777 is to leave the Autothrust in on Approach much like Airbus. On the A320 especially in strong headwinds the N1 can often be all over the place, there isn’t much I can do about it, the autothrust is doing its job.

Hope that Helps :)


Nice to see the error was fixed before anything bad happened.

@Lufthansa061 what are your thoughts on this situation, as you have flown the aircraft before.

The problem is error could happen what ever serious you are.
This is why there’s GPWS and RAAS.
This why there’s backups. Here, the controller has glanced at the plane before landing.
A friend A380 pilot was on final when the controller authorized a plane to line up [like on casual server ;-)]. He engaged a going-around.

1 Like

Been there…done that (but in IF lol)


If the pilots never lowered the gear and went around, Swiss would’ve called that a
Bang Ding Ow LMAO (btw I know Bang Ding Ow is old, but Swiss woulda still used it)

1 Like

The Boeing 787 has the Honeywell MKV or MKVII installed.
There are several modes in this system, Mode 4A is active during cruise and approach with the gear and flaps not in the landing configuration. It also provides alerting for protection against an unintentional gear-up landing.

So the report says "675 ft " above ground.

And here it is :

MODE 4A warns the pilots with " TOO LOW GEAR " IF:
Below 500 feet AGL AND less than 190 knots airspeed.

So there was no TOO LOW GEAR warning. But someone forgot reading the Checklist ! The Flight Crew Operations Manual of the 787 says: