Squawk Box

November 2002 Issue

Cable Corrosion

Cessna aileron cables showing decay in hard-to-inspect location

The following information is derived from the FAA’s Service Difficulty Reports and Aviation Maintenance Alerts.


Control cables are a critical component of most aircraft flight control systems. The cables are usually manufactured from carbon steel or stainless steel and are lubricated during the manufacturing process.

Both types are susceptible to the effects of corrosion, especially if the lubrication is wiped away by fairleads, stuck pulleys, or is oxidized away over long time periods. Moisture accelerates the process.

The FAA has received reports of corrosion in Cessna 172 aileron control cables in the area at the top of the rear doorpost. Corrosion is most likely i...

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