AOPA has requested that the FAA postpone the effective date of an airworthiness directive (AD) that would require Cessna 150 and 152 aircraft be fitted with a rudder modification kit or have a placard installed stating that it is not to be used for intentional spins or aerobatic maneuvers.
The association believes that the FAA needs to justify why it issued an AD for an aircraft with an exceptional safety record and type certificates more than 30 years old.
“Given the long safe history of the Cessna 150 and 152 within the fleet, AOPA feels that it is appropriate for the FAA to offer a detailed background on how the FAA determined these aircraft had a design flaw,” Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs wrote in a May 21 letter.
More than 17,000 aircraft, which are commonly used for spin training for pilots pursuing their flight instructor certificate, would be impacted. AOPA also has asked the FAA to “consider ways to decrease the impact” of the AD.
“AOPA asks that aircraft owners and mechanics be allowed to fabricate the placard and perform the required airplane flight manual change and the associated maintenance log entry,” the letter stated.
As AOPA has previously reported, the AD stems from two fatal accidents, one in Canada in 1998 and the other in the United States in 2005. However, the aircraft involved in the accident in Canada was not airworthy and the aircraft that crashed in 2005 had rudder bumpers installed incorrectly.