May 28, 2020

Cessna Taildraggers Subject of Proposed AD


The FAA is proposing an Airworthiness Directive (AD) on some Cessna taildraggers requiring an inspection of the tail cones and horizontal stabilizers. Almost 7,000 180s, 182s and 185s are affected. 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. 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.”

The section of the U.S. federal register containing the proposed AD is appended below.