On February 6, 1994, at 1853 mountain standard time, a Cessna 402C, N2718Y, operating as Big Sky Flight 138, collapsed its nose gear on landing at Billings, Montana. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the flight that was conducted under 14 CFR 135. The airplane was substantially damaged and the two certificated airline transport pilots and the three passengers were not injured.

The operator reported that the flight had taken off from Billings at 1835 and was en route to Miles City, Montana, on the scheduled commuter flight. The crew retracted the landing gear at approximately 500 feet and noted the "in transit" light illuminated for the three landing gear. The lights for the main gear went out as normal, however, the nose gear light remained illuminated. The flight crew extended the gear and a three green indication was noted. According to the flight crew statements, they recycled the gear twice with the same indications as before. The crew extended the landing gear and returned for landing at Billings with a three green indication for landing. During the landing roll, the nose gear collapsed.

After the airplane was removed from the runway and secured in a hanger, a mechanic inspected the landing gear and reported that the nose gear was not in the down and locked position. The landing gear was then cycled and a down and locked position was noted. The mechanic reported that there was no evidence found to indicate a mechanical failure or malfunction.

At the time of the accident, the weather was reported from Billings to be -5 degrees and light snow. The mechanic stated that the nose gear actuator may have froze and did not allow the nose gear to complete a full range of travel to the up lock or down lock position.

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