Prop Spinner Problems

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Cracks Found On New Cessna 172s…

A California pilot says fellow owners of late-model Cessna172s should add an unusual step to their preflight inspection. Brian Boyd, an80-hour-pilot, told AVweb no one should start up a new 172 withoutthoroughly inspecting the prop spinner and its mounts. His 57-hour-old 172developed what he considers a potentially serious problem late last month. Somewhere over the desolation of the highdesert, en route to Palm Springs for AOPA Expo, the spinner developed atwo-inch crack. "The spinner was actually peeled back," he said.Although it didn’t depart the aircraft (and Cessna says none have, so far) Boydsaid such a failure could be catastrophic. Boyd did some investigating and discoveredCessna has known about the problem for more than a year but hasn’t yet issued aService Bulletin or any other notification to pilots.

…Service Bulletin On The Way…

A Service Bulletin is coming, but it could be several months,said Cessna media relations spokeswoman Jessica Myers. "This has all ofour attention," she said. Myers said it will take time to identify all thepotentially faulty spinners and make replacement kits for them. The fixinvolves building spinners out of heavier aluminum and beefing up the bulkheadsthat hold them on the engine. Myers said it hasn’t been decided whether the newspinners will be offered for all aircraft with potentially faulty ones orwhether they will be replaced as they fail. "There are still a lot ofunknowns," said Myers. It will be after the new year before the Service Bulletinis issued.

…Problem Known To Cessna

Boyd said he’s uncomfortable with Cessna’s attitude on thisissue, although he’s been told that dealers and FBOs from all over the countrygave Cessna brass an earful at a meeting to discuss the problem at the AOPAconvention. The replacement spinner installed on his airplane at Palm Springsis from the same lot number as the one that failed and he said he’s worriedabout it suffering a similar fate. He’sconsidering removing the spinner until Cessna comes up with the fix. Assumingthat flying without the spinner is permitted, it seems like a reasonableprecaution but a slightly costly one. The prop has to come off to remove thespinner, said Boyd.