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FAA orders Cessna 210 corrosion inspections

An airworthiness directive (AD) that takes effect March 9 will require inspections of about 1,520 early model Cessna 210 single-engine airplanes for carrythrough spar corrosion in the aftermath of a wing-separation accident in 2019.

Photo by Mike Fizer.

The AD “requires a one-time visual inspection of specified areas on the carry-thru spar lower cap and an eddy current inspection of the lower cap kick area and any locations where corrosion was removed.” The inspection’s results must be reported to the FAA, which will use the data to determine any further action.

According to the FAA, the visual inspection of listed models must occur within 60 days after the AD’s effective date or within the next 20 hours time-in-service, whichever occurs first. The inspection results must be reported by email within 10 days after completing the inspections or within 10 days after the effective date, whichever occurs later. Repairs found to be necessary must be made before further flight.

On May 26, 2019, the wing of a Cessna T210M separated while the aircraft was conducting a low-altitude aerial survey flight in Australia. “A visual examination of the fracture surface identified fatigue cracking that initiated at a corrosion pit,” the AD notes.

Soon after the accident, AOPA reported that the FAA had issued an airworthiness concern sheet to gather information from operators of Cessna 177 and cantilever-wing Cessna 210s about any history of cracking of wing carrythrough spars.

Subsequently, “the FAA received reports of widespread and severe corrosion of the carry-thru spar on Models 210G, T210G, 210H, T210H, 210J, T210J, 210K, T210K, 210L, T210L, 210M, and T210M airplanes. Further investigation identified that these early model airplanes were manufactured without corrosion protection or primer, increasing their susceptibility to corrosion.”

The agency estimates the cost of compliance with the AD’s inspection and reporting provisions at $1,827.50 per aircraft.

Although the AD is a final rule not preceded by a public comment period, comments may still be submitted by April 6 online or by mail to U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

Please include Docket Number FAA–2020–0156 and Product Identifier 2019–CE–053–AD at the beginning of your comments.

Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 35-year AOPA member.
Topics: Advocacy, Aircraft Regulation, Airworthiness

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