The shortage of face masks has reached the FAA aircraft certification bureaucracy in the form of an extension of compliance time for an AD requiring inspection of the wing carry-through spars on some Cessna 210s. The process involves chemicals that require technicians to use masks so the calendar deadline for compliance has been moved from May 8 to Sept. 9, 2020. The flight hour compliance limit of 20 hours since March 9 still stands, however, so the effect may be to ground some aircraft until things get back to normal. The AD was prompted by the failure of a spar in a heavily modified 210 in severe service in Australia last May.
“Owners and operators face difficulty meeting the 60 day compliance time due to a number of factors associated with the COVID-19 virus, including facility availability, equipment availability (masks used in the application of chemicals), and travel and personnel restrictions imposed by local, state, and federal governments,” the FAA said in a letter to Textron and reported by AOPA. The extension was approved as an alternative method of compliance requested by Textron in light of the effects of fighting the coronavirus pandemic.