Thursday, April 23, 2020

Annual Update - Gear

I swapped phone calls with Sussex Aero and our aircraft's previous owner Bill B.  Bill is a wealth of knowledge on Commanders and their gear, so why not ask the man that knows.

I previously posted that Bill had detected the pump running in my flying videos.  Bill actually heard it kick on and off in the audio portion, I have yet to hear it.  Something to be said for a pilot knowing every sound their plane makes. Now what Bill had heard was not the pump running on and on, but, just a quick blip to keep the proper pressure in order to keep the gear tucked in the wheel wells. You can also see this happening by watching the amp meter needle spike up and down in a blink. Actually if you blink, you'll miss it. I have seen the spikes.
Fast forward to annual inspection.  The guys at the shop noticed the pump coming on while doing the required gear extension testing. Once the gear was retracted they heard the pump cycle every ten to fifteen seconds. There are no external leaks, anywhere, and the pump remains full. What is happening is an internal leak has fluid bypassing an O-ring under the extreme pressure in the actuator. 

From Trubleshooting Guide

The other important issue with gear are the bumper bolt mounting positions.  3 Tango Charlie was already corrected but it's important to make sure the shop does not swap this configuration or it can result in a potential gear up.  Rob from Sussex assured me it was not reversed. 
The bolts, if installed in reverse, can cause the nut and exposed threads to catch on the Main Landing Gear up stop bracket.  If this happens you are in for a bad day.
That's all the info to report as of today.  I think if the main gear actuator needs new o-rings the plane might be ready by Friday if not early next week.  Updates to follow as I receive them.

Stay safe!

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