Video: Gear Up Mishap on Takeoff

Ill-fated Mooney gets back on its legs with help from a lot of friends.

While we hear of gear up landings from time to time, a gear up takeoff is definitely an unusual incident. But here is a video that serves as proof that it does happen, too.

A Mooney M20C departing from Raglan, New Zealand, dropped on its nose just as it was about to lift off a grass runway. The grass provided a soft cushion for the airplane, but the propeller was severely bent in the incident and the engine would definitely have needed some work. But other than some dirt and grass stuck in the cavities of the belly and a couple of bent gear doors, the airplane appeared no worse for the wear.

What makes this 2011 video extra special, enough to make it in our electronic newsletter, is what happened after the gear up event. A large group of friends and bystanders gathered and literally picked up the airplane high enough to allow the pilot to lower the gear. The group then pushed the airplane to a spot where it could be parked.

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