Bonanza/Baron landing gear emergency handcrank
Check that the landing gear emergency handcrank is stowed (folded over) before flight. When engaged, the crank will spin rapidly with operation of the electric gear motor. If the spinning handle wraps around carpet or some object behind the pilots’ seats it may bind up, stripping the handcrank connection and possibly damaging the electric landing gear motor. This would prevent gear extension by any means. There is a risk of severe bodily injury if a hand, foot or other body part is contacted by a spinning landing gear emergency handcrank.
It is apparently easy to install the heavy plastic carry-thru spar cover so that it obstructs the emergency gear extension handcrank (see picture). It is virtually impossible to engage the handcrank from this condition or to repair the condition in flight. If the electrical system fails or there is a gear motor malfunction you will probably not be able to extend the landing gear by any means if the handcrank is trapped behind the spar cover.
Obstructed gear extension handcrank
Add this step to your preflight inspection checklist:
Be especially careful to inspect for an obstructed handcrank whenever accepting the airplane after any inspection, maintenance or repair that might even remotely require removing the carry-thru spar cover.
©2007 Mastery Flight Training, Inc.