On February 7th, I was on a UA 4694 from DEN to SAF, upon approach the landing was aborted; upon second approach, we heard the landing gear come down, which we did not hear on the first approach; the rest was uneventful. I just reviewed the "Live ATC" recording for that period, and there is 90 sec. period of complete silence on the ATC recording, between the Tower giving permission at 16:05:02 to land and at 16:07:07 instructing UA3649 to 'turn left at Delta 1, and contact ground". It appears that there is no recording of the aborted landing, second approach, nor any other communications from the tower during this approximately 90 second period.

Would the ATC recording include communication related to an aborted landing? If yes, how can I find it?

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    $\begingroup$ Reportable to whom? If in fact the landing gear had not been lowered, then everybody who needs to know about that incident is already well aware of the situation. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 22:10
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    $\begingroup$ What makes you think there was a mistake made here? Passenger estimates of speed and distance are notoriously unreliable, but if you were actually at 250ft above the runway the aircraft wasn't going to land anyway. More likely, the crew were asked to go around by ATC long before and elected to fly a missed approach as the easiest way to remain in the traffic pattern. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 3:23
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    $\begingroup$ Your edits to your question add very little. No airliner could fly a missed approach, reposition, fly a second approach and land in the space of 90 seconds. Something here doesn't add up, and I fear it's your understanding. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 4:09
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    $\begingroup$ To add on what @ReddHerring says. Flightaware shows part of the goaround ( flightaware.com/live/flight/UAL4694/history/20190207/1835Z/KDEN/… ) and it lasts the full final 6 minutes of the available recording, from 16:07 to 16:13, and it shows that the plane landed even later. Moreover, UA3649 does not land in SAF, being a RDU-ORD-LAN flight $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 7:24
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    $\begingroup$ Hi and welcome. RE edit: where can I find X is off-topic here. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented Feb 13, 2019 at 13:11

1 Answer 1


It takes a lot to forget to lower the gear.

  1. Both crew forget to do the pre-landing checklist.
  2. Both crew ignore the gear warning horn that goes off when thrust is reduced with gear up when configured for approach.
  3. Both crew ignore the Ground Proximity Warning System audio callout "Too Low, Gear", which goes off at about 400 ft when descending with gear up.

Not to say it doesn't happen and it's possible the crew was so preoccupied with something they missed all of that (it happened to a Brit Air crew landing a CRJ200 with flaps stuck at zero, who managed to actually land wheels up), or maybe only reacted when the GPWS went off. It's also possible you misinterpreted something or didn't notice the gear going down the first time assuming it did.

In any case, I don't believe there is any kind of formal reporting process for passengers for that kind of event where passengers report on crew performance issues. Write to the airline and quote the flight number, time and place and ask for an explanation. You'll probably get a lawyerly answer that is vague, but reading between the lines will hint at what happened. No harm in asking.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! will do! $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 23:38
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    $\begingroup$ You could also find the LiveATC recording of the tower frequency at the time. Typically the controller would ask the pilots for the reason of the go-around. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 0:20
  • $\begingroup$ It takes a lot to forget, but circumstances, stress and haste can help a lot too: Malév 262 at Thessaloniki in 2000. It came unnoticed by Greek ATC and lives were likely saved thanks to the prompt reaction of another aircraft pilot. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Feb 12, 2019 at 19:17

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