DEN01IA108
DEN01IA108

On May 8, 2001, at 1256 mountain daylight time, a Beech 200, N725MC, operated by Mountain Aviation, Inc., sustained minor damage during an intentional wheels up landing at Greeley-Weld County Airport, Greeley, Colorado. The pilot and 5 passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an IFR flight plan had been filed for the non-scheduled domestic passenger flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 135. The flight originated in Broomfield, Colorado, approximately 0805.

After takeoff and during climb-out, the pilot heard an unusual noise "like a chain popping or slipping around a sprocket" when the landing gear was retracted. He then noticed the left main tire and inboard gear doors were visible beneath the engine nacelle. He attempted to extend the landing gear manually but without success. The pilot circled the area to burn off fuel, then diverted to Greeley-Weld County Airport, where he performed a wheels up landing. Damage was confined to the landing gear doors, antennae, and one propeller tip.

The airplane was later hoisted by crane and the nose landing gear actuator was disconnected. The main landing gear was then cranked down, the gears were pinned, and the airplane towed to Beegles Aircraft Service. The nose landing gear actuator was then packaged, sealed, and shipped to FAA's Aircraft Certification Office in Wichita, Kansas. On May 22, 2001, the landing gear actuator (p/n 50-820208-5) was examined at Raytheon Aircraft Corporation under the auspices of the Federal Aviation Administration. In its report, Raytheon noted that the nut assembly would rotate but would not move in and out. After x-rays were taken, the nut assembly was forced out of the cylinder. It was discovered that the nut assembly had been painted white while in the EXTEND position. After cleaning off the paint and reassembling the actuator, it moved freely in and out as required. The report stated, "The nut assembly is a chromed metal shaft that is not to be painted."

According to Mountain Aviation's director of maintenance, the airplane had recently undergone a complete refurbishment, including new engines and propellers and upholstery. It was then painted by a company in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

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