By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
Following reports of cracked wing spar caps in several Cessna 210s in Australia and Canada, the FAA on Monday issued an emergency Airworthiness Directive requiring 3,665 of the airplanes in the U.S. to be inspected. If cracks are found in the spar cap, wing spar, or wing, they must be reported to the FAA, and the aircraft must be grounded until the affected parts are replaced or modified. The AD is effective on June 5. Cessna issued a service letter (PDF) addressing the issue last month.
The procedures and deadlines for inspecting the airplanes vary depending on the number of hours in service. Airplanes with more than 10,000 hours are grounded until a visual inspection has been completed, and if no cracks are found, a more thorough check must be done within the next five hours. No action is required for airplanes with less than 5,000 hours of accumulated flight time. Cessna built more than 9,000 210s between 1957 and 1986. The AD affects models produced after 1967, which have a cantilever wing. The inspections should cost $255 to $510 per airplane, the FAA said, but it had no estimate for the cost of repairs if needed. The FAA said it will accept comments on the AD until July 5.