The owners of a number of Cessna and Piper models are being advised about possible wing spar problems under two recent special airworthiness information bulletins (SAIBs) issued by the FAA. AOPA is urging the owners of affected models to follow inspection guidance provided by Piper and Cessna.
On Dec. 2, the FAA issued CE-11-12R1, titled “Wings-PA-28, PA32, PA34, and PA-44 Rear Spar Corrosion at Fuselage Attach Fitting.” It notifies the owners and operators of Piper PA-28, PA-32, PA-34, and PA-44 airplanes about the potential for corrosion on the wing spar at the fuselage attach fitting.
The FAA previously addressed the issue in 2011 with SAIB CE-11-12. At that time the agency urged pilots to comply with Piper Service Bulletins 789A, 977, and 1006, which were issued between 1994 and 1997. Additional service data acquired since then prompted Piper to issue Service Bulletin 1244B, which provides for repetitive inspections of the affected area and “a repair option for the wing rear spar just outboard of the fuselage.” The new SAIB, which updates the one issued in 2011, encourages owners to follow the recommendations of that latest service bulletin.
A second SAIB issued on Dec. 2, CE-16-11, advises owners and operators of Cessna 177, 177A, 177B, 177RG, and F177RG airplanes about potential cracks in the wing lower spar caps near the wing root. Corrosion is believed to be a contributing factor to the development of these cracks.
The SAIB urges owners of Cessna 177 models to perform a visual inspection of the wing lower spar caps for cracks and corrosion in accordance with the recommendations of Cessna Service Letter SEL-57-03, which was issued Nov. 15. Aircraft that are operated at low altitudes, or those that have received a gross-weight increase or wing modification, are believed to be of particular concern.
More than 4,000 Cessna 177 model aircraft have been manufactured since 1968, but to date only one aircraft is known to have been affected, an F177RG used for pipeline inspections with 8,892 flight hours.