Textron Service Letter Affects Cardinals, Centurions

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Some Cessna 177 and 210 owners will need an immediate inspection of the spar that holds their wings on after Textron reported potential corrosion and subsequent cracking problems on some aircraft. The company issued a mandatory service letter requiring inspection and repair of the carry-thru spar on the aircraft. The spar is a main structural member at the apex of the fuselage to which the wings are attached. To comply with the letter, all Cardinals and Centurions will eventually need a physical and eddy current inspection but some will need it a lot sooner than others.

Any of those aircraft that have been modified with common wing STCs including STOL-related mods and extra fuel tanks will need the inspection within 10 hours of 2,500 hours of service. Unmodified aircraft can go to 15,000 hours before the work is done. Compliance requires removing the headliner and cleaning up the spar before physical and eddy current inspection. Corrosion can be sanded off but the resulting material thickness has to be checked with Textron to make sure it still meets specs.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Despite this being a “mandatory” service letter, part 91 operators are not required to adhere to it until it becomes an AD, which I do not think is the case as of yet. So the impression the article gives that owners are required to follow this service letter is overstated.

  2. From the Service Letter:
    For airplanes flown in SEVERE Usage as defined in Section 2A-10-00:
    • Airplanes that have more than 2,500 flight hours must accomplish this document within 10 flight
    hours.
    • Airplanes that have less than 2,500 flight hours must accomplish this document within 10 flight
    hours upon reaching 2,500 flight hours.
    From the Service Manual Section 2A-00-00:
    (1) Operating Usage
    (a) Severe Usage Environment
    1 If the average flight length is less than 30 minutes, then you must use the Severe
    inspection time limits.
    2 If the airplane has been engaged in operations at low altitudes such as pipeline
    patrol, fish or game spotting, aerial applications, police patrol, sightseeing, livestock
    management, etc. more than 30% of its life you must use the Severe inspection time
    limits.
    Back to the SL:
    For airplanes flown in TYPICAL Usage as defined in Section 2A-10-00:
    • Airplanes that have more than 15,000 flight hours must accomplish this document within 10 flight
    hours.

    • unless I owned one from new I’d be checking it regardless..after seeing pics of the wing separation in Australia where that carry-through broke clean through resulting in wing separation..

  3. “Some Cessna 177 and 210 owners will need an immediate inspection of the strut that holds their wings on”

    Strut? What strut? Most of the 177s & 210s I’ve seen don’t have struts!

    Is it just me or do you need a proof-reader?

    in friendship

    Rowland

  4. On 2019-07-04, at 16:29, Russ Niles, AVweb wrote:

    “It’s you. Read the story.”

    OK, I read the story _again_ and could see no mention of a strut other than in the opening sentence which I previously quoted. There’s nothing about a strut in the graphic either. What is mentioned is the carry-through spar, but that does not serve the engineering function of a strut. If I have somehow failed to see the specific reference to a strut in the body of the article, I would be grateful for a pointer to it.

    in friendship

    Rowland

  5. you are right Rowland,…strut was a very misleading word to use as pilots we struts as external fixtures that support flying surfaces in tension or compression…I was wondering as well, and yes Russ, I read the article…nice response though…