Cessna has launched an initiative to educate owners about new required inspections for the 145,000 single-engine aircraft in the 100- and 200-series that were built between 1946 and 1986. The supplemental procedures will be added into the service manuals this month for aircraft in the 100 series and in April for the 200 series. The added inspections mainly require checks of areas where corrosion and fatigue damage can occur. "The new inspection requirements we've developed are very simple, and are based on visual inspection that can be done quickly by a trained inspector during an annual inspection," said Beth Gamble, Cessna's principal engineer for airframe structures.
"Corrosion and fatigue are inevitable," Gamble said, "but with early detection and proper maintenance, severity and effects can be minimized." Cessna has published a PowerPoint presentation -- download the .ZIP file here -- and a short video to provide more details about the process for owners. The older Cessnas may be gaining popularity soon if a proposal by AOPA and EAA makes headway. The groups plan to ask the FAA to allow pilots to fly many of the older airplanes, if they have fixed gear and 180 hp or less, without a 3rd class medical.