View Full Version : Cessna 402

Max Brakin
19th Jul 2001, 14:41
Iam looking for info on the Cessna 402 from anyone that flies them privately or commercially. Sortof stuff I'm intersted in is how does handle, normally and asymmetrically, limitations, any quirks that sort stuff.

Any help would be very appreciated. Thanks to all in advance. :) :)

19th Jul 2001, 18:58
The 402, especially the 402C model is a nice handling machine, and quite fast. However, at max weight, with an engine out, the climb gradient is nearly zero. Overspeed takeoffs (needing longer runways) helps out a bit here.
Also, the turbo exhaust needs to be watched VERY carefully. Several fires in this area have resulted in wing separation.
Constant inspection and proper maintenance will keep this problem under control.

compressor stall
20th Jul 2001, 07:38
Only got 3 hours on a C model, but a couple of hundred on 401/402a/b models.

In general, nice docile aeroplane. Drops like a brick when heavy. Does not like flying on one engine, not matter what the book says...although I operated it in desert operations and heat does not help matters...

If there is no oil smeared across the gear doors about 2/3 of the way up the door, do not fly it again..the engine is out of oil :)

Check the exhaust system visually every 10 hours yourself as a minimum. The AD says 50, but mine manisfested a hole under the metal heat shroud in front of the firewall. Melted all the wiring (including the fire warning system :eek: ) behind the engine. Had damaged the engine mount and the spar was next...... This damage took less than 10 hours to occur.
The only cockpit indication was a slight reduction on MP on the takeoff roll, which was explained by a slightly sticking wastegate - a very common occurrence.

Ask where to squirt mousemilk to lubricate said wastegates regularly especially if you are in hot and humid climates.

The last 5 indicated gallons of the aux fuel tanks goes in no time at all - be prepared, and the left aux seems to empty first. Run one dry deliberately early on to know what it sounds and feels like. You will forget at least once, and if you know what it sounds like it will make life much easier!

If you value your fingers in the correct order, do NOT grab the emergency gear extension handle if you let go of it when unwinding.

The fuel ticker pump motor is wired to the landing light CB. If the landing light CB pops you have no ticker pumps. This is not in the flight manual nor the POH.

Be very careful if you have no weight in the nose of standing the aircraft on its tail when loading. In general at max tow, and 8 adults of similar size, the COG is in the top right (way aft) spot on the loading chart. Load front to back! Do not let more that one person stand on the step at once. common sense, but I have seen it done! :eek:

For light to medium weights, 20" and first stage of flap flies the ILS profile PERFECTLY.

All in all a nice aicraft if its it not heavy.

[ 20 July 2001: Message edited by: compressor stall ]

compressor stall
20th Jul 2001, 07:43
Oh, and when you fly it at night for the first time, don't get scared by the red hot metal glow emanating from the engine...sure put the wind up me when i saw it for the first time! :D

Turbulent Eddy
20th Jul 2001, 07:53
Max Brakin, what 411A says is extremely pertinent,as it is something Compressor Stall and myself have witnessed first hand. I am in exactly the same boat as CS, having only flown the C model twice, but spent around 600 hours in the A and B models.

I have found them to be a pleasant aircraft to fly overall.The A and B models are a lot more restrictive than the C model, it is almost always a case of trading payload for fuel etc.They generally don't have any nasty surprises, with the exception of the fuel system on the A and B models. This is the same farcical system that the 310 has as well (ie use main tanks for 60 mins, then select aux tanks whilst holding tongue in position a). Seriously,ensure you are familiar with the fuel system before you set off,as it may bite.
Assymetric performance in the A and B if you are heavy is less than impressive(again tried and tested by myself :( ), and don't make the mistake of being low on the approach, heavy and with all the flap and gear out. The A and B's become very draggy with flap and gear out, and it leaves your options very limited. Try to make a committal height before you put all the flap out in case of a missed approach.

That's about all that springs to mind,Stallie seems to have covered most of the good stuff.Have fun, I'm sure you will enjoy it.

[ 20 July 2001: Message edited by: Turbulent Eddy ]

compressor stall
20th Jul 2001, 08:55
A small digression...I disagree with any overspeed takeoff recommendation. I believe that it is safest in almost any aircraft, but in particular one whose asymmetric performance is suspect, to:
Rotate at manufacturer's speed
Retract gear as soon as possible safely
Retract flap as soon as possible safely (obviously not applicable is FM stipulates flap for climb)
Acelerate to the multi enginebest rate of climb speed and peg it. :)
Once at circuit height or a bit higher, then climb at the desired speeds/angles.
Holding the aircraft on the runway longer or climbing at higher than recommended speeds loses energy to parasite drag which can never be recovered. Use the best rate of climb to convert as much of that chemical energy (fuel) as possible to potential energy (height).

The subject was covered at length here (http://www.pprune.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=3&t=001141). Tinstaafl's comments are particulary relevant. The thread starts off talking about light twins, but digresses to heavy metal by page 3.

[ 20 July 2001: Message edited by: compressor stall ]

20th Jul 2001, 11:07
Compressor stall--
You may be interested to know that in heavy piston multi-engine aircraft (DC4, DC6 etc) the aircraft is rotated at V2 (takeoff safety speed), unlike in jet aircraft. This is due to the rules under which they were certified (CAR4b) and insures directional control in the event of a powerplant failure.
In a light twin, a slightly overspeed takeoff (5 knots or so) will aid in directional control should an engine fail.
Once airborne, acceleration to Vyse as rapidly as possible is a very good idea.

Max Brakin
20th Jul 2001, 12:55
Great stuff guys thanks for all the hints.
Don't like that exhaust stuff, was it fixed on the C model or did Cessna just ignore this(i.e. look at it more often) :D

20th Jul 2001, 18:14
Not "fixed" on the 'C' model, these also require repetitive careful inspections as per AD 2000-01-16. In addition, would suggest "cowling off" and inspect visually every 20 hours. Hopefully you will be able to spot trouble before things get out of hand.

21st Jul 2001, 00:24
Fuel system foibles:

AUX fuel is not available to the opposite side engine so after an engine failure, the fuel in the failed engine's AUX tank is dead weight.

Slipper fuel tank fuel IS available to the opposite engine via an electrical transfer pump to the same side main, then X-feed to the other side.

Excess fuel from the injection metering unit goes to the main tank on that side - no matter from where the fuel was originally supplied. 60 mins FBO out of the mains will allow for the return flow from full AUXs.

NB: Can't remember if there is an option for short or long range AUXs in the C402. There is in the C310. In which case you only need burn 30 mins out of the mains if the a/c has SHORT range AUXs.

So, if you're flying for range ie need the AUX & slipper fuel to do the trip, make damn sure you test the fuel transfer pumps from the slipper tanks (if fitted).

Then burn from the AUXs as soon as you can, allowing for space in the mains for returned fuel.

Then back to the mains, to make room for transferred fuel from the slipper tanks

Then transfer the slipper fuel. Each slipper holds about 60 mins of fuel.

Max Brakin
21st Jul 2001, 00:42
Tinstaafl: thanks for the gen it doesn't sound like a very user friendly fuel system or is that just in the engine out case. I can't believe the slipper tank is an option !?!?! or have I read your post wrong.

Does anyone have any more gen on asymmetric handling??

Turbulent Eddy: does the pilot handling notes state alower flap setting in the case you stated or was that found by experience?? :eek:

Thanks again to all for this top gen :D :D

21st Jul 2001, 04:41
Slipper tank is an option. It fits into the the fairing behind the engine, one per side. Can be none, one tank on one side only, or one on each side.

Once you get used to the logic in the fuel system it's not too difficult. Don't like the idea of fuel becoming unjettisonable dead weight though.

compressor stall
21st Jul 2001, 12:47
411A - to clarify my comment I should have said "safest in almost any light piston aircraft". I have no experience in heavier metal, and was not intending to mean them in any way. Hope that clears things up :cool:

Max Brakin
24th Jul 2001, 21:39
Thanks to all who have replied to this thread the info is much appreciated.

I am still after any more info on the aircraft's asymmetric handling, especially when up and away at max AUW.

Couple of other points, how does it handle in the stall and when doing croswind landings.

Any hints and tips most appreciated :D :D

25th Jul 2001, 07:21
Handling not bad once up and away with the prop feathered, altho a slow climber at max weight.
Crosswind landings not a problem, large ailerons and rudder.

The landing gear requires careful attention to rigging.
'Tis electro-mechanical type (except 402C) and the weak points are: torgue tubes, bellcranks, fork bolts (AD 76-13-07 applies)and requires regular lubrication.
AD 90-02-13 applies, main landing gear strut bearings. Many aircraft were shipped from the factory with the wrong bearing installed.

Do NOT depart with the nose strut deflated. To do so results in the nose gear being jammed in the wheel well, and not entending.
Not good for those expensive engines. Cessna service letter applies.

The AUX fuel tanks are bladder type, be sure to leave at least 15-20 gallons in same when parked for longer periods, as this will help to avoid leaks.

Grab the aft end of the tip tank and see if there is any movement relative to the wing. If so, have the aft tip tank mount checked for cracks, covered by S/B but not AD.

AD 79-10-15 applies, cracks in wing structure, important for types with high airframe hours.

Don't know about stalls, haven't done any in 30 years on this type.

Probably more than you wanted to know, but thought you would be interested. Looked after properly, these are very reliable types. Any further info? Just ask.

[ 25 July 2001: Message edited by: 411A ]