Proposed AD Affects 7,000 Cessna Taildraggers


The FAA is proposing an AD on some Cessna taildraggers requiring an inspection of the tail cones and horizontal stabilizers. Almost 7,000 180s, 1802s and 185s are affected and comments are open until June 29. Textron issued a mandatory service letter in 2017 and the AD basically follows its directives but instead of applying to only aircraft with more than 3,000 hours or 10 years in service, the AD will apply to all of the listed models. Cracks in the tail of a 185 prompted a further look and 29 aircraft were found to have similar damage.

The extra loads endured by taildraggers during landing are presumed to be behind the cracking and the inspection, which will take about two hours, is comprehensive and follows the service letter “procedures for inspecting the stabilizer hinge brackets, tailcone reinforcement angles, corner reinforcements, stabilizer hinge reinforcement channel, stabilizer hinge assemblies, stabilizer aft spar reinforcement, and the lower half of the stabilizer aft spar.” 

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. In the late 1970’s early 1980’s Cessna said they where looking into this problem and working on a fix. Suggested steel replacement parts.
    Not Bad, only forty years just to recognize a common problem but, no suggested fix? The fix is probably another 40 years out.