The following information is derived from the FAAs Service Difficulty Reports and Aviation Maintenance Alerts. Click here to view “Airworthiness Directives.”
Several years ago, Cessna designed, manufactured and approved an engine oil filter adapter for use on Continental engines installed on the companys aircraft. The oil filter adapter was made available through the Cessna parts distribution system and was installed on various other aircraft using TCM engines via FAA field approval.
In 1996, the FAA issued AD 96-12-22, which addressed the possibility of the adapter becoming loose and/or separating from the accessory case and causing loss of engine oil. However, problems have arisen because AD 96-12-22 is listed in the airworthiness directive, Appliance section, and is issued for Cessna Aircraft Company. The units installed on other aircraft using the field approval process will not be found.
Scheduled inspections need to include a physical check of the engine oil filter adapter to determine if it is subject to AD 96-12-22. If an adapter covered by AD 96-12-22 is identified, the technician should make an entry into the maintenance logs and include an airworthiness directive log entry to properly annotate this finding for future inspections.
It seems odd that a Cessna airworthiness directive could apply to Beech, Piper or other aircraft, but this is one time when it may.
Beech A36 Bonanza
Wing Flap Defect
During a landing approach, the pilot experienced a split-flap condition when he tried to extend the flaps. He selected flaps up, but still needed to use differential aileron input to maintain control of the aircraft. The technician found the left flap flexible drive cable crimp loose, which allowed the cable core to slip. When the left flap contacted the up limit switch, the right flap stopped at approximately 20 degrees down. The malfunction may have been the result of a manufacturing defect in the flexible drive cable. Part total time – 857 hours.
Beech A36 Bonanza
Engine Cowling Structural Defect
During an annual inspection, the technician discovered numerous cracks in an engine cowling pan. The pan is located in the cowling nose section just below the crankshaft flange and above the air filter. A piece of the pan approximately 2 inches by 4 inches was broken and missing. In addition, the left aft baffle at the oil cooler was cracked. Part total time – 155 hours.
Beech B55 Baron
Defective Nose Wheel
During a scheduled inspection, the technician discovered a crack in the nose landing gear wheel assembly. The 4-inch crack was located on the outer horizontal surface of the wheel assembly between the hub and the wheel flange. The wheel assembly was in imminent danger of failure.
Beech 58 Baron
Chafing Flight Control Cables
During a scheduled inspection, the technician discovered the aileron trim tab control cables chafing against an air-conditioning system freon line. This defect was located under the floor on the left side of the aircraft. The cables and the freon line were damaged. Part total time – 46 hours.
Beech 100 King Air
Smoke in the Cockpit
During a landing approach, the flight crew noticed smoke coming from the center pedestal. They shut off all nonessential electrical power and completed the landing safely. The source of the smoke was an electrical short in a printed circuit board caused by a liquid spill on the center pedestal. Apparently the crew had been setting their coffee cups on the pedestal instead of using the cupholders.
Cessna 182P Skylane
Poor Engine Operation
The pilot reported the engine ran rough and would not develop full power. The technician discovered the alternate air door was loose in the induction airbox. Evidently, the door hinge pin had migrated out and allowed the door to partially obstruct the engine airflow. In addition, the hinge spring had been sucked into the engine and had passed completely through the combustion chamber. The technician found it lodged in the exhaust muffler baffle. The induction airbox had been installed in accordance with STC SA3825SW. The hinge design or manufacture may not be adequate to securely hold the hinge pin. Part total time – 33 hours.
Cessna 182S Skylane
While complying with Cessna SB 00-27-01, the technician discovered that a new part was defective. SB 00-27-01 recommends replacing the elevator control system cable support bracket with a new bracket supplied by Cessna. When the technician removed the old bracket and attempted to install the new one, he found it was improperly manufactured and would not perform its intended function. Part total time – 0 hours.
Incorrect Parts Installed
During a scheduled inspection, the inspector found the alternator drive support misaligned with the alternator pulley. This aircraft has a Lycoming IO-540-AC1A5 engine installed. The misalignment caused the drivebelt to slip partially off the alternator pulley. After checking further, the technician determined the installed starter ring gear support was for a Cessna 182S using a Lycoming IO-540-AB1A5 engine. The incorrect part apparently was installed during manufacture.Part total time – 498 hours.
Piper PA-22-150 Tri-Pacer
Fuel Flow Defect
During an annual inspection, the technician discovered the fuel flow to the strainer was severely restricted. The technician discovered both of the rubber hoses used to connect the fuel tank outlet fittings to the aluminum fuel tubing were deteriorated. After removing the hoses, he found the interior lining of the hoses had collapsed and almost completely shut off the fuel supply from the tanks. The markings on the hoses indicated they were manufactured in 1972. In addition, the aircraft had been using auto fuel under an STC for many years. Prior to this inspection, the aircraft was parked in a hangar for 2 years.
Piper PA-23-250 Aztec
Landing Gear Hardware Failure
The left main landing gear collapsed after landing. A technician discovered the landing gear link assembly was separated. A bolt sheared, causing the linkage to separate, and the landing gear collapsed aft. When the aircraft came to a stop, the left main gear tire was resting on the wing flap.
Piper PA-28R-180 Arrow
Landing Gear Defect
While conducting an annual inspection, the inspector discovered a crack in the left main landing gear trunnion. The trunnion was cracked through the web area and into the casting approximately of an inch. The crack originated at the edge of the hole in the web. Piper Service Letter 616 allows for the removal of cracks adjacent to the 0.191-inch hole in the web by enlarging the hole to 0.5 inch. In this case, however, the crack traveled well beyond repairable limits and required replacement of the trunnion assembly. The replacement trunnion incorporates a thicker web area. Part total time – 3,352 hours.
Piper PA-28-181 Archer
Fuel Pump Failure
When the pilot turned on the electric fuel pump, the fuel pump and alternator circuit breakers popped. An inspection found the electrical power wire going to the fuel pump was pulled out of the housing and was shorted to ground.
Piper PA-28-181 Archer
Defective Fuel Cap Gaskets
A submitter reported six occurrences of defective fuel cap gaskets in his fleet. The Facet gaskets do not appear to be compatible with 100LL aviation fuel. The gasket material swells and deteriorates after being exposed to fuel for only a short time. The gasket material becomes very soft and is vulnerable to tearing when swelling occurs. This is a persistent problem in this operators fleet of aircraft and may affect other aircraft makes and models. These six failures occurred with operating times of 11 to 28 hours.
Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain
During an engine operational test, a technician discovered fuel dripping from the front heater and the fuel pressure regulator drain. The technician removed the Janitrol heater fuel pressure regulator and discovered fuel leaking from the point where the electrical power wires enter the case. He stated this was the fourth such occurrence on the same aircraft during the past year. Part total time – 61 hours.
Piper PA-34-220T Seneca
Elevator Trim System Defect
During a scheduled inspection, the technician discovered excessive free play in the elevator trim system. The technician found that excessive wear and elongation of the trim tab upper link holes caused the free play. After receiving a replacement part, he noticed the upper link holes now incorporate brass bushings.Part total time – 2,957 hours.
Piper PA-46-310P Malibu
Flight Control System Corrosion
While conducting an annual inspection, the technician discovered severe corrosion on an elevator push-pull tube. The push-pull tube displayed corrosion on the bottom aft surface. The technician removed the corrosion and found deep pitting of the metal. At several locations in the metal, he could easily puncture the metal with an awl. One area, which he punctured while testing with the awl, did not display any outward sign of corrosion damage. The corrosion may have been caused by water and other contaminates becoming trapped inside the push-pull tube for an extended period of time. Part total time – 3,181 hours.