Time is getting short for operators of the older Cessna 210 single-engine airplanes covered by an airworthiness directive requiring corrosion inspections of carrythrough wing spars to provide data to the FAA on ways to modify the AD.
Some operators may be able to gain FAA approval of alternative methods of compliance (AMOCs) to the expensive inspection procedures. Also, properly documented past inspections may count toward compliance with the AD, said Christopher Cooper, AOPA director of regulatory affairs.
Information about the affected fleet’s condition has been accumulating since the FAA reached out to the owner-operator community in 2019, Cooper said. Of 214 responses to the FAA’s request for information, 100 aircraft were found to have repairable corrosion, and 20 more had significant corrosion requiring spar replacement, each at an estimated $30,000 cost.
A key point Cessna 210 operators should note when drafting comments or planning how to comply with the AD is that there is no fleetwide AMOC available for dealing with the inspection provision.
“However, the FAA is looking at an AMOC for certain earlier Cessna 210 models that may have come out of the factory with corrosion protection and for individual Cessna 210 aircraft that may have unique modifications,” Cooper said. AMOCs are discussed in paragraph (o) of the AD.
“It is important that if you are an owner or operator of a listed Cessna 210 model and you feel that your aircraft is not impacted by corrosion because of recent modifications or inspections, you should follow the procedures under Part (o) of the AD as soon as possible,” he said. “Be sure to provide as much data and history of the aircraft [as possible]. This will also help provide data to the FAA to make any necessary future changes to the AD—hopefully for the better.”
The AD’s paragraph (l) Credit for Previous Actions sets forth the conditions under which visual inspections conducted before the AD took effect can be credited toward compliance.
The AD notes that the one-time eddy current inspection of the carrythrough spar lower cap that is required regardless of the results of the visual inspection was ordered because it could reveal corrosion not visible to the eye.
AOPA has expressed concern to the FAA, however, about the short timeline of 60 days or 20 hours time in service to complete the visual inspection, and about the “difficulty and cost” to complete an eddy current inspection, he said.
Comments may 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 No. FAA–2020–0156 and Product Identifier 2019–CE–053–AD at the beginning of your comments.