Cessna AD "Will Affect 36,000 Airplanes"

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The FAA's final rule regarding Cessna seat rails applies to all serial numbers of Cessna aircraft ranging from Cessna 150A to T337H-SP models -- 36,000 aircraft, according to the FAA -- and is effective as of June 17, 2011. The Airworthiness Directive (AD) supersedes a prior one; it clarifies inspections that look for cracks in seat rails and details under what circumstances parts must be replaced. Action, unless already taken, is required within the next 100 hours time-in-service or within the next 12 calendar months. The FAA estimates that the inspections alone should cost each owner about $85 and combine to produce $3.06 million for the repair shop industry. Cost of replacement parts and work as needed could add another $395 to an individual owner's tab. Specifics follow.

The AD covers 150, 152, 170, 172, 175, 177, 180, 182, 185, 188, 190, 195, 206, 207, 210, T303, 336, and 337 series airplanes. It aims to prevent seats from slipping while the aircraft is in flight, potentially leaving a pilot out of reach of the controls, or leading to dangerous unwanted control inputs. The old AD requires repetitive inspections and replacement of parts under specific conditions. The new AD (PDF) retains all the requirements of the previous AD, but adds steps to the inspection procedure and improves associated graphics.