AD Addresses Cessna In-Flight Fire

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The FAA has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) affects nearly 3,000 of Cessna's retractable-gear aircraft and seeks to prevent the possibility of in-flight fire on the cabin side of the firewall. Affected aircraft are models R182, TR182, FR182, 210N, T210N, 210R, T210R, P210N, P210R, and T303 airplanes. The agency acted based on a report of an accident involving a Cessna 172RG. In that case, a fire "rapidly accelerated" inside the cabin, caused injuries to the aircraft's occupants, and ultimately resulted in a complete hull loss for the airplane. That description closely matches the experience of Jade Schiewe, who was interviewed last year by AVweb's Glenn Pew (podcast). Compliance with the AD, which involves the placement of terminal lug caps at each aircraft's hydraulic power pack, is estimated to have relatively little impact on owners.

The FAA estimates that inspection of the aircraft's hydraulic power pack should take about an hour and cost about $85. If the terminal lug protective cap installation on the hydraulic power pack requires work, the FAA estimates the total cost at $114. Improper installation of the terminal covers and associated wiring could result in ignition of a fire that could spread rapidly in the presence of flammable materials near or in contact with the hydraulic power pack system. Read the full NPRM, here.