Folding Cessna Legs

Landing gear actuator housings suspect, but so far no AD


The following information is derived from the FAAs Service Difficulty Reports and Aviation Maintenance Alerts. Click here to view February ADs.


The FAA is reminding owners of retractable-gear Cessna single-engine airplanes of problems that may arise in the main landing gear actuators of retractable-gear 172s, 182s and all 210s.

Cessna service bulletin SEB01-2 specifies inspections, modifications and replacements that should be made to maintain the integrity of the actuator housings. The NTSB has issued two Safety Recommendations on this issue, but the FAA has so far declined to make the service bulletin into an AD.

Aeronca 7AC Champ
Engine Failure

The pilot experienced a complete engine failure, but was able to land the aircraft safely.

A technician discovered very fine dirt particles in the fuel strainer and carb float chamber. Also, the main air-bleed jet was almost completely obstructed by an unidentified gummy-like foreign substance.

Aeronca 7CCM Champ
Defective Wing Structure

During a scheduled inspection and compliance with AD 2000-25-02, the inspector found cracked spars.

The left wing front spar was cracked at the inboard end and the right wing rear spar was cracked at the inboard end. The severity of the cracks allowed a .001-inch feeler gauge to be inserted approximately 0.125-inch into each of the cracks.

Beech 58P Baron
Wing Structure Defect

While conducting a scheduled inspection, the inspector discovered a crack in the wing skin.

The lower inboard leading-edge skin was cracked between the fuel tank drain-fitting hole and the rear edge of the skin. The 2-inch long crack appeared to originate at the aft edge of the skin and traveled forward to the fuel drain-fitting hole. The submitter reported finding this defect many times on like aircraft.

Part total time – 7,165 hours.

Beech 76 Duchess
Landing Gear Defect

While conducting an annual inspection, the inspector discovered the right main landing gear A-frame was cracked.

The crack traveled approximately half way around the A-frame tube circumference and the assembly was in imminent danger of complete failure. The defect was in the same location discussed in AD 97-06-10, which requires recurring inspections unless a part with a new design was installed. This aircraft had the new part.

Part total time – 4,724 hours.

Cessna 152
Elevator Structural Defect

While performing other maintenance, a technician discovered structural damage on the elevator.

The technician removed the right elevator to replace a worn outboard bushing and discovered the elevator spar was cracked under and adjacent to the outboard elevator hinge bracket.

Part total time – 6,516 hours.

Cessna 182S Skylane
Pitot Static System Defect

While complying with Cessna Service Bulletin 00-34-01, the technician found burn marks on the pitot system pressure line.

The submitter stated this condition is the result of having a plastic line connected to the heated pitot mast. The intent of SB 00-34-01 is to correct this problem by adding a plastic spiral wrap to the line and power wires to prevent the pitot line from direct contact with the hot parts of the pitot mast. However, the spiral wrap insulation is made of the same material as the original pitot line and is subject to the same heat damage.

Part total time – 297 hours.

Cessna TU206F Turbo Stationair
Alternator Assembly Defect

During a scheduled inspection, the inspectors discovered the fasteners used to secure the alternator case were loose.

The four internal bolts on the Aero Electric alternator were safety wired but loose. The submitter speculated the bolts were not properly installed during the assembly process and may have been snugged down and later saftied before the fasteners were torqued.

Part total time – 500 hours.

Cessna 210D Centurion
Horizontal Stabilizer Damage

While conducting an annual inspection, the inspector noticed oil-canning on the horizontal stabilizer skin.

He applied hand pressure to the horizontal stabilizer skin and heard a popping sound. This anomaly was found on both sides of the horizontal stabilizer and prompted the technician to investigate further. After removing the inboard fairings, he discovered the upper skin panel under the right side fairing was chafing against the skin panel. The chafing wore through the skin in an area approximately 4 inches long. The left upper skin panel was chafed in the same location but not as severely. He speculated the skin damage was caused by a sharp edge on the fairings. He replaced both skin panels.

Part total time – 1,711 hours.

Cessna 210L Centurion
Electrical Wiring Chaos

During a scheduled inspection, the inspector discovered unconventional electrical system wiring.

The electrical wiring under and behind the instrument panels included permanently installed alligator clips connecting wires to terminals, a liberal use of noninsulated terminals and connectors, and most of the wire was not approved for aviation use.

There were no maintenance record entries alluding to the repairs.

Cessna 310J
Main Landing Gear Failure

During takeoff, the right main gear wheel and lower strut assembly separated from the aircraft. Apparently the upper and lower torque links became disconnected and allowed the parts to separate. It appears the pressed-in bushing came loose from the lower torque link, allowing the bolthead and washer to pass through the enlarged hole normally occupied by the bushing. The manufacturers Illustrated Parts Catalog indicates that a special washer is required under the head of the torque link bolt that has a larger outside diameter than the AN washer installed. However, the manufacturers Maintenance Manual instructions for this aircraft do not require installation of the special washer.

Extra EA-400
Engine Failure

During a flight, the pilot experienced a total loss of engine oil, and the Continental TSIOL-550-C engine failed. The aircraft sustained damage during the landing incident.

A technician discovered the engine oil system filter was punctured, apparently by contact with a B nut used on a T-fitting located on the metered fuel pressure port of the throttle body. The throttle body housing is mounted on rubber tubing to absorb vibration and shock movements. It appears there was insufficient clearance between the B nut and the oil filter to prevent them from contacting when subjected to operational movements and vibration.

Part total time – 31 hours.

Maule M5-235 Lunar Rocket
Lose of Rudder Control

During the landing sequence, the pilot lost rudder control and ground looped the aircraft.

An investigation revealed the left rudder control cable had separated at a Nicopress fitting. The cable or the sleeve did not show evidence of corrosion or other defects. The cable assembly was recently inspected in accordance with AD 2000-09-06 and found to be in compliance.

Part total time – 1,660 hours.

Piper PA-28-180 Cherokee
Propeller Loss During Flight

The propeller separated from the aircraft during flight and the engine oil obscured the pilots vision, resulting in an accident.

The engine crankshaft had failed on the aft side of the flange in the radius. From reviewing the maintenance records, the origin and history of the crankshaft was unclear. The only information found indicated the crankshaft was overhauled in June 1999. There was some speculation the engine may have been involved in a propeller strike at some time after the overhaul date.

Part time since overhaul – 1,564 hours.

Piper PA-28-181 Archer
Defective Aileron Cable

While conducting a scheduled inspection, the technician discovered an aileron cable was severely damaged.

The right aileron balance cable was substantially worn where it passes through the right side of the fuselage. The submitter speculated improper cable alignment during the original assembly caused the cable wear.

Part total time – 2,126 hours.

Piper PA-32R-300 Lance
Nose Landing Gear Defect

While conducting a scheduled inspection, the inspector discovered a nose landing gear door brace was broken.

The right nose gear door brace was broken at the rear attachment point. There were several cracks that emanated from the rivets at the aft end of the brace.

The submitter filed six reports of similar failures in his fleet of like aircraft. Three reports were generated on one aircraft at 104, 322 and 369 hours. Two reports were on another like aircraft and occurred at 94 and 297 hours. The remaining report occurred at an unknown number of operating hours. The FAA, Service Difficulty Program data base contains six additional reports of failure for this part number.

Piper PA-34-200T Seneca
Landing Gear System Failure

The pilot stated that the landing gear failed to fully retract. He extended the landing gear and landed safely even though the right main gear down-lock light did not illuminate.

A technician discovered a severe hydraulic leak in the nose wheel well. A hydraulic line in the gear retraction system was punctured. When he applied pressure, it leaked profusely. The line failed where it passes through an Adel clamp. The rubber cushion of the Adel clamp was worn out and exposed the metal clamp to the metal hydraulic line.

Part total time – 2,307 hours.

Socata TB20 Trinidad
Landing Gear Failure

The pilot reported that during an approach, the landing gear failed to extend.A technician found the landing gear control circuit breaker was open, and the landing gear up relay contact points were welded closed.

Part total time – 336 hours.


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