March 29, 2001
AOPA is questioning a recent NTSB letter to the FAA requesting the issuance of an airworthiness directive (AD) affecting thousands of tailwheel Cessnas with spring-steel landing gears. Following a 1999 accident in Alaska in which the left landing gear of a Cessna 185 collapsed during a landing rollout, NTSB told the FAA that it should require the removal and inspection of the main landing gear spring struts on all Cessna 170, 180, 185, 190, and 195 aircraft. NTSB wants a dye-penetrant inspection for corrosion and cracks.
But only 25 aircraft since 1974 have been reported as having cracks in a main landing gear strut. Many of those aircraft were involved in "bush flying" in Alaska. AOPA noted that the extremely small number of aircraft involved and the type of problem cited in the NTSB report does not justify a mandatory AD action.
(Interestingly, while NTSB recommendations are usually unanimous, is this case two members, John Goglia, an A&P mechanic, and John Hammerschmidt, a private pilot, did not concur.)
AOPA will work with the Cessna type clubs to provide the FAA with the information to demonstrate that an AD is not required.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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