AD Affects Thousands Of Cessna Singles


The FAA issued its final rule on an AD affecting 14,653 Cessna singles in the U.S. and probably at least as many in the rest of the world requiring repeated inspection of the spot where the strut meets the lower door post. The AD affects models ranging from mid-production 172s to the latest models. It was first proposed in May of 2020 after cracks were found in the lower area of the forward cabin doorpost bulkhead of some 206 and 207 models. The AD applies to aircraft that share the same design of the bulkhead and strut attach point.

“This AD requires repetitively inspecting the lower area of the forward cabin doorposts at the strut attach fitting for cracks and repairing any cracks,” the AD says. The inspection has to be done every three years or every 1,000 hours. The inspection will cost less than $200 but if there are cracks found it gets a little pricey. Textron has service kits available to fix cracks and the cost, including installation, ranges from $6,475 to $10,080.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. I think as the fleet ages even more every year (like who can really afford a new 172 or Cirrus…which means the older airframes keep going), I’m thinking that ADs like this, with their attendant cost (7K estimated for a 172…even before Textron gets around to gouging the price 50% more as a result of the AD) are going to become a fact of life.

    • Well, part of the reason new planes cost too much is that the old ones aren’t dying. Might be fodder for an interesting economic study.

  2. I have a C182P. I read the entire AD and it applies to all serial numbers of that model.
    I am left with some questions that internet search did not answer.

    1. In the AD parts price for the repair kit is listed at $7490. Brief internet search shows that just a couple of years ago the kit was priced between $1200-$1800 depending on source. Seems like the kit is some metal reinforcements for the strut attachment. Thank you Textron. Labor is listed as 36 hours. At the shop I use that would be about $4K labor.

    2. AD says cracks discovered in 4 dozen airframes but gives not background information on model, airframe TT or service history for the aircraft where cracks discovered. AD says concern is failure of strut attachment in flight. Has that actually ever been documented on a C182.

    I believe a C182P new had MSRP of about $27K so this AD costs about 40% of what the aircraft cost new.

    It seems to me that the AD could have been somewhat narrower and I agree with a commenter on the AD who felt that recurrent inspections could have been based just on hours in service not on both hours and calendar days. AD captures more aircraft and requires more inspections than the original Cessna SB.

    Lots of aircraft involved. I imagine a number of pilots, if cracks are discovered, will just walk away from the airframe when this AD may represent anywhere from 5-20% of current aircraft value.

    • Yes i’m afraid we’re all going to be priced out of the market very soon. Then we’ll have to commute to Europe for our fun.

  3. This is an area that should be looked at every annual. So, I don’t understand the concern about repetitive inspections. This attach point, takes a huge amount of loads whether the airplane is flying or sitting tied down.

    Considering all models since the N are included, these are the most modified with wing extensions, leading edge cuffs, up to 100 gallons of fuel, vortex generators, 470/520/550 upgrades, HD nose forks, and stall fences. With as many left that have the 40 degrees of flaps flying, it is hard to find one that has not had some sort of firewall damage in its history. All of these mods, plus normal flying wear and tear concentrates a lot of loads in addition to what Cessna had designed for.

    Textron’s view of customer service for piston singles has always been taking advantage of a crisis, instead of helping mitigate it. There will be aftermarket support for kits, I am sure as a cottage industry solution. It would be interesting to see the airplanes who developed cracks are the modified ones.

    • I have seen written “there has never been an inflight failure of a strut-braced Cessna wing.” I do look at accident reports and would tend to agree with that assessment.

      C172s and C182s are used regularly for high wing stress work such as pipeline inspection and may accumulate 10-12,000 hrs. + in that environment. There are a couple of reports of strut braced Cessnas breaking up in flight. Those post accident reports pointed towards non Cessna approved modifications to the wing or that use of unapproved fasteners at the strut attachment to fuselage and/or wing.

      Cantilever-wing airframes are another story. They can and have failed in high stress flight environments ( T storms, spins, etc.)

      What are the stresses when the C182 has been hangered since new and used only for recreational flying with maybe one landing cycle every 1-2 hours of flight time? I would agree that commercial use (jump plane, instruction, pipeline inspection, backcountry work and government agencies) would undergo more airframe stress.

      What if the aircraft has none of those upgrades? If you want to argue static stress fatigue on connecting part you may have a point since 40+ years of normal service wasn’t anyone’s expectation when the C182 was designed and certified in the 1950-1960s. But that certification did not contain any “life limited” language.

      I don’t know if it is hard to find a C182 without firewall damage. Anecdotal evidence and for sale ads would not contain this information only a logbook inspection would. Maybe I own one of the few that has not had such damage.

      As for aftermarket repair kits the AD specifies only the Cessna Kit as a part for this repair. Maybe another company would be able to produce and get certified a similar repair part but that would take significant time and expense. Textron has been making these repair kits for several decades and selling them at prices 1/4 -1/5th the current price.

      I think that the AD could have been a more granular in its’ approach. I have seen structural ADs which applied only to aircraft used in high airframe stress situations such as pipeline inspection.

      And a question I asked that I cannot find an answer for was “any documented strut failure on a correctly maintained C182 resulting in strut separation either in flight or on the ground”.