On March 28, 2001 the FAA issued AD 2001-06-06 mandating inspection of the main landing gear pivot assemblies on all Cessna 172 RGs on the US registry. The AD also mandates the installation of new bushings on the main landing gear pivot assembly shaft and replacement of any cracked pivot assemblies.
The AD affects approximately 766 airplanes on the US registry. Aircraft Type-Clubs and owners/operators of affected airplanes have expressed serious concerns regarding the necessity of the actions proposed by the AD. Most owners hold that inspections and parts replacements are unnecessary for the majority of the fleet, as most aircraft are not regularly engaged in operations that result in abnormally high landing loads. Further, aircraft type-clubs familiar with the Cessna 172RG point out that the Cessna service bulletin provides other means to detect cracked main landing gear pivot assemblies. Nearly all operators expressed concerns regarding parts availability and the likelihood of aircraft downtime resulting from a parts shortage.
AOPA agrees that, in this particular situation, the potential for a cracked main landing gear pivot assembly to result in a gear-up landing or loss of braking action warrants an airworthiness concern. However, AOPA maintains that an AD mandating the inspection of main landing gear pivot assemblies and replacement of bushings is unnecessary and contradictory to the FAA's own internal Airworthiness Concern guidelines. AOPA believes that the FAA should adhere to the actions specified by the Small Airplane Risk Assessment as set forth in Appendix VI of the Small Airplane Directorate Airworthiness Directives Manual Supplement. AOPA maintains that this particular airworthiness concern would be best remedied through the issuance of an SAIB or GA Alert as set forth in the Small Airplane Directorate's Risk Assessment.
Final Rule AD 2001-06-06, March 28, 2001 (requires Adobe Reader)
AOPA comments, 2000-CE-24-AD, December 5, 2000 (requires Adobe Reader)
FAA AD proposal, 2000-CE-24-AD, October 30, 2000 (requires Adobe Reader)
Cessna Service Bulletin SEB90-1 Revision 3, March 15, 1999 (requires Adobe Reader)
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