On December 4, 2002, at 1732 eastern standard time, a Cessna 210M, N7660E, operated by Flight Express as flight 905, was substantially damaged during an emergency landing at Cincinnati Municipal Airport Lunken Field (LUK), Cincinnati, Ohio. The certificated airline transport pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that originated at Barkley Regional Airport (PAH), Paducah, Kentucky, about 1420, destined for Owensboro-Davies County Airport (OWB), Owensboro, Kentucky. An instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan was filed for the mail cargo flight, conducted under 14 CFR Part 135.

In a written statement, the pilot stated that when he extended the landing gear, his right leg was sprayed with hydraulic fluid and the gear down-and-locked light did not illuminate. The pilot aborted the landing, and circled west of the airport. He then contacted a fixed base operator at Owensboro, who contacted Flight Express maintenance personnel in Orlando, Florida. The pilot also flew by the control tower, and was advised that the gear were up. After a brief discussion with maintenance personnel, the pilot flew to Lunken Field, where his company had a maintenance base. Prior to landing, the pilot flew by the tower, and was informed that the nose gear appeared to be down, but both main landing gear were dangling.

In a telephone conversation, the pilot said that he made several attempts to lower the gear, but each attempt was unsuccessful.

The pilot completed the emergency landing checklist, secured the engine, and landed on runway 07. During the landing, the airplane veered off the right side of the runway.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector witnessed the landing, and subsequently performed an examination of the airplane. According to the inspector, the pilot turned the engine and master switch off when the airplane was on final approach. The airplane touched down 3 feet beyond the runway threshold, then continued down the runway about 200 feet. The airplane came to rest in a grassy area on the right side of runway.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the horizontal stabilizer, right elevator, and empennage.

Examination of the airplane revealed that the left side, landing gear down hydraulic line installed from the gear handle to the gear power pack was ruptured due to repeated contact with the aileron cable by movement of the control wheel. This failure also rendered the emergency landing gear hand pump useless.

Additionally, it was noted that the landing gear down hydraulic line was not supported, which could allow the line, which is in the area of the captain's right rudder pedal, to be inadvertently repositioned against the aileron cable by the foot of the pilot in command. This could also result in the loss of hydraulic fluid, and failure of the landing gear system.

The operator's Principal Maintenance Inspector (PMI) performed an examination of the airplane's maintenance records, and found no entries related to maintenance on the hydraulic line or aileron cable.

A review of the Cessna 210 Service Manual revealed that there were no defined instructions as to how the aileron cable or hydraulic line should have been installed, nor did it provide clearance limits for the two components.

According to an FAA inspector, the operator had 67 Cessna 210 airplanes in its fleet. The airplanes were on an annual inspection program, with an extra phase check every 100 hours. This phase check only encompassed items of concern, and was not a complete inspection.

After the accident, the operator's Director of Maintenance (DOM) added the inspection of the aileron cables and hydraulic lines to the company's maintenance program. The inspection would be completed every 100 hours. The DOM also ordered an immediate inspection of all Cessna 210 airplanes in the fleet. No other discrepancies were noted regarding to the aileron cable rubbing up against the landing gear hydraulic line.

The pilot reported a total of 4,361 hours, of which, 1,740 hours were in make and model.

Weather at Lunken Field, at 1734, included wind from 070 degrees at 10 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, scattered clouds 4,400, broken clouds 6,000 feet, overcast clouds 7,000 feet, temperature 37 degrees F, dewpoint 51degrees F, and altimeter setting of 30.33 inches HG.

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