posted on May, 22 2006 @ 01:01 AM
They're installed before the planes are shutdown, however for some maintenance problems they are removed before troubleshooting, or working the
problem. It was PROBABLY the Landing Gear Position Indicator, which means they would have had to jack the plane and retract the gear hence the
downlock removal. They then would have had to move the gear handle with weight on the strut to make sure that the indicators worked. After dropping
the jacks, they probably forgot to reinstall the downlocks.
Note- This is speculation on my part, but the biggest reason to remove the gear pins is because they have to jack the plane and retract the gear while
it's on jacks.
Note 2- When the SR came down it was a couple of thousand degrees due to the high speed. The crews would have to wait several hours to work on them,
while they cooled down. It's also possible that they COULDN'T install the gear locks until it cooled, and they immediately started working the
problem it had, and they never got installed.
[edit on 5/22/2006 by Zaphod58]