The Cpl-rated com­man­der was con­duct­ing a re­val­i­da­tion of the han­dling pi­lot’s class rat­ing in a Cessna Cardinal RG. A flap­less cir­cuit to Den­ham’s Rwy 24 was flown and the han­dling pi­lot raised the un­der­car­riage on the cross­wind leg, just prior to turn­ing down­wind. Rais­ing the un­der­car­riage was not stan­dard pro­ce­dure in the air­craft when fly­ing cir­cuits, and the com­man­der in­tended to tell the hand­ing pi­lot to lower it again once the wheels had fin­ished trav­el­ling, but a long pe­riod of ra­dio com­mu­ni­ca­tion from two air­craft ahead in the cir­cuit dis­tracted the han­dling pi­lot from low­er­ing the un­der­car­riage, and the com­man­der from notic­ing that it had not been low­ered. An air­craft join­ing the cir­cuit over­head caused fur­ther dis­trac­tion, and con­se­quently the un­der­car­riage was not low­ered as part of down­wind checks. A low sun an­gle and at­ten­tion to trees on the flap­less ap­proach de­manded greater at­ten­tion than nor­mal, and the land­ing was com­pleted with the wheels still up. Main­te­nance in­spec­tion re­vealed that the un­der­car­riage warn­ing horn had not been work­ing.

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