Cessna alerts 402C pilots of hydraulic landing gear concern

August 19, 2010

After the nose gear on a Cessna 402C failed to fully retract after takeoff, Cessna officials released a special airworthiness information bulletin with temporary revisions to the model’s pilot’s operating handbook.

The pilot of the incident aircraft declared an emergency and returned for landing after fumes and the appearance of smoke entered the cabin. The cause was a build-up of hydraulic pressure that melted through the reservoir sight tube and spilled into the nose baggage compartment.

In addition to listing the new procedures for the POH, the bulletin also recommends that pilots “complete the procedures for ‘Hyd Pressure Light Illuminated After Gear Cycle’ that they previously committed to memory” if the HYD PRESS light stays lit longer than normal during gear retraction. Failure to do so “could result in damage to the hydraulic system and smoke/vapors in the cockpit,” the bulletin says.

Cessna noted in the bulletin that the condition does not spark airworthiness or safety concerns.