A retractable landing gear on an aircraft is operated by a landing gear control system 20 having a manually operable lever or handle 26 movable from a first, e.g. gear-down, position to a second, e.g. gear-up position, in response to which a signal (e.g. a gear-up command) is outputted causing the landing gear to move to an up position. The landing gear control system 20 also includes a motor 40 configured to move the lever automatically in response to a signal, for example a signal received by a landing gear lever control unit 42 from a take-off detection system 46 which indicates that the aircraft has taken-off . There is further disclosed two methods of use, the first has the pilot overriding automatic retraction of the landing gear and initiating a manual retraction at a later point and the second has the pilot pre-emptively retract the landing gear prior to the automatic retraction.