Cessna 340 landing gear problems?

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  • #84200

    I am thinking of buying a C340 but am concerned after reading a lot of accident reports about the landing gear not coming down correctly or it collapsing on landing. Have any other owners had problems with the gear? Is it that it was poor maintenance by the shop who did not know how to rig the landing gear and know the system well? Or is it that some owners don’t maintain them well and that it comes back to haunt them. Is the gear something to look at closely during a pre buy inspection? If there are any other things to look for when buying a 340? Any input would be appreciated as I am starting my search.

    #98729
    quote trabbitt:

    I am thinking of buying a C340 ……..are any other things to look for when buying a 340?

    There are a lot of things to look at with 30 year old airplanes, landing gear is just one of many.

    I have had zero issues with landing gear in the 8 years and 2,000 hours of flying it. That said, I have had the gear maintained by a shop with a lot of twin Cessna experience or it probably would be different.

    I think like with most things; you get what you pay for. A low price plane probably has some neglected maintenance to catch up with. A higher priced plane most likely will have a anal owner who will not toleraterate any squawk. And, in the middle, you will find a mix.

    If I was buying today, not having any experience with the specific plane, I would engage an expert in the type to help me. His/her fee would be well worth it – my opinion.

    #98730

    Thanks for you input. I am trying to find out all I can.

    #98731

    If you take a look at landing gear failure history, Twin Cessnas as a whole certainly have a worse reputation than their counterparts from Piper or Beechcraft. Personally, I think that the Twin Cessna landing gear has some significant weak points and I’m rather surprised that they never got addressed. Although the Cessna retract singles weren’t exactly any better.

    We’re coming up on 3 years and 500 hours with the 310 and haven’t had any landing gear issues. The previous owner also never had any landing gear issues during 25 years and 5,000 hours other than the one time he loaned it to someone who then forgot to put the gear lever in the “down” position. The majority of gear-related issues are caused by improper maintenance, however there have also been a few instances where there have been bad parts.

    If you want a 340, then I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one, I would just pay close attention to the gear. Ultimately, the stats would indicate you’re probably more likely to forget to put the gear down than to have it fail on you on its own accord.

    #98734
    rwelsh
    Participant

      As said before there are lots of things to look at before buying. Before 1976, 340s did not have the beef up on the landing gear side brace which allowed the gear to fold when taxing too fast in a turn. I believe it costs around $6K to do the beef-up on earlier planes. My suggestion is buy a 1977 (340A) or newer. The pressurization ducts in the nose and heater compartment are a great source of pressurization leaks and some are very hard to change and expensive to buy. Suggestion: buy a 340A that has had all the ducts changes in the past 8-10 years or deduct $5K from the price. I would suggest you have a prebuy done by a shop that knows where corrosion lurks in twin Cessnas; like TAS in Defiance, Ohio or Air Impressions in Waco, TX or Peter Danto in Concord, CA. Make sure that all radio installations that have had antenna changes have the paper work completed for cutting a hole in the pressure vessel. There aren’t many AD notes on the 340 airframe anymore, but two that can be outstanding is the upper rudder balance weight rib and the inner bearing in the main landing gear struts. Look for a plane with VGs, GAMI injectors and a big intercooler-either RAM or AA. A nice to have option is the four puck brakes system verses the original 3 puck Cleveland as the original brakes on a 340 or 414 were marginable at best.

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