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.
This strikes me as a rather pointless jesture. If you have a 210 that is nearing its 20 hour limitation, it really does not matter if they extended the deadline until September of 2021. Without the needed equipment of supplies, you are still grounded until you can acquire them.