FAA: Possible Structural Issues In Vintage Cessnas
Cracks near the wing strut attachment were found in several Cessna 207s belonging to a single operator, leading the FAA to request information from owners and operators to determine how many aircraft have similar damage. The cracks could cause wing deformation leading to unflattering changes in flight characteristics, and, although unlikely, could cause wing failure in aircraft with extremely advanced cracks, according to the FAA. Cessnas with wing struts produced up to 1986 are potentially affected. The FAA has been aware of the issue since at least 1995, when Cessna released a service bulletin (SEB95-19) requiring inspection of the lower forward doorpost every 1,000 hours and installation of a reinforcement kit if cracks are found. The request for additional information through this Airworthiness Concern Sheet suggests the FAA is considering more frequent inspections.
When operators perform the required inspection, the FAA is asking owners/operators to send the results, along with total airframe hours, to the Wichita Aircraft Certification Office. The agency is also seeking information on the time required to perform the inspection to assess the cost of more frequent inspections. The 1995 service bulletin estimates 1.5 man-hours to perform the inspection, which requires removal of the upholstery, heater ducts and floorboard inspection covers near the lower forward cabin doorpost. Cessna budgets an additional 24 man-hours to install the reinforcement kit, if needed.