QUOTE(Kilrah @ Jun 16 2009, 03:10 AM) [snapback]130947[/snapback]
A friend of mine also usually announces gear down when contacting tower on landing, even though control doesn't ask for it. When I asked the same question, the answer was simple - if you always include that phrase in your communication "routine", you remember to say it - and thus have one more reason to remember to put your gear down ;)
Not a bad practice, even if said without ever pushing the mike button, and in some cases, especially. Brevity on a busy frequency, and all that. These habits will go a long way in keeping insurance field brokers, as well as fire and rescue away. When I first started my flight training back in the late 1970's, even civilian controllers used the same "check wheels down" phrase. Of course at the time, the option of "gear position" seemed eternally far away to me with the 150s I flew.....
Fortunately, the planes I now fly require the gear extension as a major means of slowing down, sometimes sweating the ASI needle to reach Vlo in order to use the gear for aero braking. The Meridian is relatively easy with the PT-6 up front, but the Aerostar, with its "coordinated" 153 KT Vlo can get a bit hairy at times. That's one slippery machine without the speed brakes. The 210 has some robust gear that can be lowered at 165 KTs and is nearly always used for initial aero braking. First notch of flaps on our "N" model begins at 160. I always like to operate within a structural margin, so gear position is always part of the mix.
In thirty years of flying, always landed on rubber.