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Thread: C24 Sierra landing gear

  1. #1

    C24 Sierra landing gear

    Actually the gear on a Sierra is very reliable and besides being built like a tank is easy to work on, providing that the mechanic actually reads the shop manual. Any of the few problems that I have had can be traced to previous owners that allowed a quick fix to a problem. One of the most common problems is a misadjustment of the micro switch on the nose gear (again the shop manual is very clear on this procedure.) Compared to Piper Arrows where it is possible to have a gear problem that will not allow you to lower the gear except by emergency procedures, problems with the Sierra will be in the gear up phase. Best advice is whatever plane you buy get to know the shop manual and know what is being done to your plane. After all they are not going to be flying it.


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  2. #2

    C24 Sierra landing gear

    We have had our '78 C24R since 1995 and the gear has been very
    reliable in operational terms, it has never failed us!

    On the maintenance side we had some issues with the actuator cylinder
    on the right main. The O-rings were replaced twice costing about $150
    each time. Then finally the cylinder was replaced for around $500,
    we've had no problems since.

    We have had no problems with the nose gear or left main. At every
    annual the book prescribed procedures are complied with and I do an
    emergency gear activation at least once a year. So far, so good!

    FWIW, I fly about 80 to 100 hours a year so the plane does get used.

    And, let's admit it, planes just look neater with the gear up!

    I hope this helped and Merry Christmas!
    Chris L.
    Sierra C24R
    N5106M
    KSLC





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  3. #3

    C24 Sierra landing gear

    --- In musketeermail@yahoogroups.com, "trymyturkey_458"
    <emperorcharlesv@y...> wrote:
    >
    > One of the a/c on my purchase radar is the C24R. Great cabin, 2
    doors,
    > good build quality, reasonable cruise/fuel burn. I'm a little
    > concerned about gear reliability, especially with that nose gear. I
    > was wondering if some of you Sierra drivers could share your
    > experiences with me -- costs at annual, dispatch reliability, etc.
    >
    > The owner of my FBO was trying to talk me out of retracts, because
    of
    > all the maintenance bugaboos he saw. I agree that fixed and welded
    > gear is a lot less complex and almost certainly cheaper. Still,
    > Sierra's meet a lot of my mission requirements. Frankly, I'm more
    > concerned about reliability. How often could I expect a Sierra to be
    > in the shop for gear-related problems? (and what do those problems
    > cost??!!?!?)
    >
    > Also, if any of you Sierra owners are in the Philadelphia region,
    I'd
    > love to check out a Sierra firsthand (and even beg a ride if you're
    so
    > inclined).
    >

    I'm a little surprised to hear so many Sierra owners singing the
    praises of its gear system to me, it was a necessary evil in order
    to get some other desirable attributes, such as that great big
    baggage door. (You say you like that the Sierra has two doors? How
    much better do you like it, realizing that it actually has three?)
    And evil it was, at first I had a chronic case of the blinking red
    gear lights for the first two years I had the plane (starting from
    Fall 2001) and culminating in a scare in which I had to cycle the
    gear multiple times to get three greens. I had to work on several
    different things to bring it under control (costs are to my best
    recollection):
    - a leaking hydraulic line under the cabin floor that had corroded in
    contact with some SCAT tubing: $1200;
    - a bum hydraulic pressure switch mounted on the least reachable
    place on the gear motor that you can possibly imagine: $800 plus
    labor;
    - a bum replacement hydraulic pressure switch: replaced under
    warranty, got off easy, just had to pay shipping;
    - a LH actuator cylinder that leaked internally, and got rebuilt
    three different times once each by two different mechanics, neither
    of whom did it properly, at $300 apiece, and once by yours truly, who
    finally got it right.
    - an airspeed switch that was removed and serviced, probably
    unnecessarily: $200
    - a nosegear actuator cylinder that got rebuilt, and this time it
    only took one try: $200.

    A thousand here, a few hundred there, pretty soon we're talking real
    money! Plus there's the substantial uptick in your insurance cost.
    The good news is that it's worked pretty well without any further
    work for the last two years.

    But enough about my troubles, let's talk about other peoples'! My
    plane's nosegear collapsed at least once before I owned it, and the
    gear hydraulic motor was replaced more than once, as well. Nosegear
    collapse is a pretty well-known foible of these airplanes, and it
    necessitates not just a new prop, but the teardown of the engine's
    accessory case, too. Usually the trouble is traced to a gear rigging
    problem, so at annual, I have the rigging and microswitches examined
    ever so carefully.

    Are Sierras worse than other retractables? I have no idea I would
    think probably not, since their retract system is one of the simpler
    ones. Single-engine Cessnas are worse than average, early Armstrong-
    system Mooneys are better than average, none are immune from
    problems. If you must go for a retractable, go and God bless, but
    just keep in mind that a Grumman Tiger is just about as fast as a
    Sierra, and has just about as much useful load, and all with down-and-
    welded landing gear and a constant-pitch prop.

    Craig MacCallum
    Sierra N525SB
    Montclair, NJ






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  4. #4

    C24 Sierra landing gear

    In the 2 years I owned a Sierra, the gear worked correctly for
    approximately 9 months, as far as I can tell. But then, my experience
    was definitely not average.

    I had a nosegear collapse 4 days after I bought the plane. This was due
    to bad maintenance by the prior owner, and we found several
    "quick-fixes". I was grounded for 8 months. (This involved a complete
    engine overhaul.)

    Also, on the day my engine failed last fall, the mechanic who watched me
    take off 5 minutes earlier said he noticed my gear were only about 1/2
    way retracted, so obviously there was something going wrong that I
    hadn't noticed yet. I think it is possible that the trailing gear
    affected my glide ratio and contributed to my inability to make it that
    last 1/2 mile to the runway.

    So... expensive? Yeah, it can be expensive. I can blame the first one
    on the prior owner, but we rebuilt every component in the system after
    that. No idea what happened with the trailing gear. On the plus side,
    the gear itself could stop a bullet, and many if not most owners have
    zero trouble with it. I think some systems are simply doomed for one
    reason or another. The trick to avoiding these... well, there is no
    trick other than buying a plane with welded-down gear, but I think the
    odds are probably in favor.

    best of luck



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