King Air’s are incredible turboprops to own and/or operate. The powerful engines and fuel efficiency alone make them a top choice for those in the market for a private airplane. Part of owning a King Air (or any aircraft, for that matter) is maintaining it. There are key King Air inspection milestones that every owner/operator should keep in mind. One of those milestones is the landing gear inspection.
The Difference Between a Landing Gear Inspection and Landing Gear Overhaul
You’ll hear two phrases used frequently when referring to King Air landing gear: landing gear inspection, and landing gear overhaul. There is a distinction between the two.
A landing gear inspection is the Hawker Beechcraft requirement that dictates that the King Air landing gear be inspected every 8,000 flight hours, or every 6 years. A landing gear overhaul is what occurs when an inspection notes that maintenance or repairs need to take place. When you’re scheduling an inspection event with your MRO, you’ll want to schedule a “landing gear inspection” for your King Air, and they will determine if any parts need overhauled and complete any repairs as necessary.
The Reason Why Landing Gear May Need to be Overhauled
The landing gear is responsible for absorbing thousands of pounds of force for thousands of cycles over the course of the aircraft life. Hard landings, dirt, and unimproved/short runways all contribute to excess wear on both your gear and brakes.
Despite the abuse that the landing gear takes, it’s typically incredibly resilient and reliable. However, landing gear failures can happen, and that’s why it’s so important that they be routinely inspected.
During an inspection event, the MRO will disassemble and strip the landing gear, perform all necessary non-destructive inspections, repaint it, and perform a service/leak check. The wiring, lights, drag braces, actuators, and shimmy damper are all inspected and dimensionally checked for any wear to ensure continued reliability both in the air and on the ground.
MROs typically see corrosion in the landing gear over time, most often caused by exposure to the elements. While minor corrosion is not uncommon, it is very critical to inspect for dissimilar metal corrosion in the areas where aluminum components meet steel bushings. When these issues are spotted, they can be a simple fix, such as replacement of:
- Hardware as required
In the instance of more extreme corrosion or failure issues, new or modified landing gear components can be installed.
Cost of a Landing Gear Inspection and Landing Gear Overhaul
The cost of a landing gear inspection will vary between MROs, but you can expect to pay for around 150 labor hours for the inspection alone.
If any additional parts are needed or if certain components need to be replaced, additional costs will be incurred on top of the 150 labor hours. While the cost of parts depends entirely on the condition of the landing gear at inspection, we can safely estimate that you will likely spend an additional $2,000 to $3,500 in parts costs.
Schedule Your King Air Landing Gear Overhaul and Inspection
If you’re getting close to your 6 year mark on your landing gear inspection schedule, get in touch with our maintenance department. We can discuss any combined maintenance efforts that may be possible with your aircraft, which will ultimately help you save on labor costs associated with landing gear overhaul or inspection.
Contact us today to request a maintenance quote, or to schedule your next maintenance event.