May 21, 2012
By Sarah Brown
A direct-to-final-rule airworthiness directive (AD) issued May 21 requires one-time inspections of the wings’ lower main spar caps on Cessna 210, P210, and T210 model airplanes.
The AD, prompted by reports of spar cap cracks in Australia and Canada and the resulting Cessna service bulletin, calls for either replacement of cracked parts or a to-be-determined FAA-approved modification if cracks are found, as well as reporting of inspection results to the FAA. The AD takes effect June 5 and is expected to affect 3,665 airplanes of U.S. registry.
The AD is similar to Cessna’s service bulletin but does not require recurring inspections. It was issued as a final rule instead of a proposal because the FAA found that an unsafe condition warrants its immediate adoption.
Airplanes with 10,000 or more hours time in service must do an external visual inspection of the outer skin underneath the main spar cap fitting between wing station 25.25 and wing station 45.00 for cracks before further flight, in accordance with Cessna Service Letter SEL-57-01 Revision 1, the AD states. If no cracks are found, there must be an internal visual inspection of the spar caps within the next five hours in service. Airplanes with 5,000 to 10,000 hours time in service must have the internal visual inspection within the next 25 hours in service; those with less than 5,000 hours must have the internal inspection when the airplane reaches 5,000 hours or within the next 25 hours time in service, whichever occurs later.
Results of all inspections must be reported to the FAA within 10 days of the inspection or 10 days after the effective date, whichever occurs later. Reports should include hours of time in service at the time of inspection, installed wing modifications, approved gross weight increases, extended low-altitude operations, and a description of any cracks detected. Based on the data from the initial inspections, the FAA may require recurring inspections in future rulemaking.
See the AD for affected serial numbers and further details.
The FAA has asked the National Transportation Safety Board to review a judge’s ruling reversing a fine it levied in an unmanned-aircraft case.
The Tucson Soaring Club is trying to grow the sport by training the next generation of glider pilots.
Able Flight has received and $8,000 check from the AOPA Foundation.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.