The following information is derived from the FAAs Service Difficulty Reports and Aviation Maintenance Alerts. Click here to view “Airworthiness Directives.”
The FAA reports it is still receiving accident and incident reports stemming from fuel exhaustion on Cessna 210s. The FAA blames most of the episodes on pilots neglecting to operate their aircraft in accordance with the flight manual revisions ordered in AD 94-12-08. Also, some pilots apparently are confused about the proper operation of the electric fuel boost pump. There are several different methods of operating both the normal (low boost) pump switch and the emergency (high boost) pump switch, which are explained in the Pilots Operating Handbooks.So far the FAA has not proposed issuing another AD on either FAA-Approved Airplane Flight Manuals or unapproved POHs unless there is evidence of conflicting information, which it says it does not have. However, the agency does say there is evidence of a lack of pilot awareness about the different procedures used during fuel boost pump operation.
American Champion 7 and 8 Series
Empennage Brace Wire Failure
During initial climb, the pilot experienced empennage oscillations and severe vibration. He returned safely to the departure airport.Examination revealed the left upper tail brace wire was broken just below the jamnut at the top attachment. According to the technician, the available evidence indicated this failure was caused by metal fatigue in the threaded portion of the attachment/adjustment rod. He speculated this type of damage might be caused when hand pressure is applied to the brace wires during aircraft ground movement.Part total time – 3,000 hours.
Beech 58 Baron
Horizontal Stabilizer Crack
While conducting a scheduled inspection, the technician found a half-inch crack in a structural member of the right inboard horizontal stabilizer.The crack was located in the lower radius of a structural channel used for the attachment of the forward spar. The technician previously found other cracks at this location and stated this defect is usually found where the mounting channel passes through the fuselage.Part total time – 1,729 hours.
Beech 58 Baron
Battery Drain Mast Failure
A technician reported finding the battery drain mast, located on the exterior of the nose baggage compartment area, cracked and broken.The technician stated this defect is prevalent on a large number of relatively new aircraft. It appears that cracks develop adjacent to the base plate weld and can culminate in separation of the drain mast.Part total time – 19 hours.
Beech 76 Duchess
Wing Structure Defects
During a 100-hour inspection, the technician found cracks associated with wing ribs at the left aileron location.The cracks were located in the trailing edge of the wing ribs adjacent to the left inboard and outboard aileron hinge bearing attachment brackets. Both cracks began at the aft edge of each rib and migrated forward to the lower attachment rivet.The technician said he has maintained nine Beechcraft Duchesses over the past six years, and these two repairs represent the 23rd and 24th repairs of this nature. Further, he stated the cracks seem to develop after approximately 2,500 hours of operation.Part total time – 3,742 hours.
Cessna 182S Skylane
Flight Control Cable Damage
While complying with Cessna SB 00-27-02, the technician discovered severe damage to an aileron control cable.SB 00-27-02 lists inspection criteria to determine proper pulley groove radius at the point where the interconnect cable is attached to the quadrant.Approximately half of the aileron cable was severed. It appears the cable damage was generated where the pulley groove has a hole drilled to accommodate a pin used to attach the pulley to the aileron control tube assembly forward of the control yoke.Part total time – 79 hours.
Cessna 414A Chancellor
Engine Oil Strainer Problem
This aircraft was modified to Series VII under an STC that included an engine oil system strainer kit.A technician complained the oil strainer element plugs up and has no bypass. This limits oil flow to the waste gate and does not allow development of full engine power. After installing a new strainer element, the engine operates normally for 5 to 15 hours before these events reoccur.Part total time – 10 hours.
Cessna 421C Golden Eagle
Elevator Torque Tube Security
During a scheduled inspection, the technician discovered excessive differential free-play between the left and right elevators. Using only hand pressure, the technician held one elevator surface firm and was able to move the other surface approximately 1 inch. This proved true for both elevator surfaces.The elevator control surfaces on this aircraft are attached to a flanged collar with a taper pin. The taper pin apparently worked loose, allowing the tapered hole in the flanged collar and the torque tube to wear to an oval shape. The only repair provided by the manufacturer is to replace the collar with a new-style longer collar. Ironically, the collars installed on this aircraft were the new-style longer collars. The only approved repair for a second occurrence of this defect is to install a new torque tube assembly, which comes with a shorter collar.
While preparing for a flight, the back of the pilots seat broke and fell into a recline position.A maintenance technician found the horizontal seat-frame tubes had broken. AD 85-03-04, Revision 2, concerns this subject and references Gulfstream Service Bulletin (SB) 114-21A, Revision 1.It is interesting that AD 85-03-04, R2, is applicable to aircraft serial numbers 14,000 through 14,149 while SB 114-21A, R1, applies to aircraft serial numbers 14,000 through 14,540. This leaves 391 aircraft, including this particular aircraft, where AD 85-03-04, R2, does not apply. The manufacturer confirmed the seat-frame material and design is the same for all 540 aircraft.Part total time – 1,990 hours.
Diamond DA20-C1 Katana
Exhaust System Failures
A fleet operator reported several exhaust stack failures on its fleet of like aircraft.These failures culminated in separation at the engine cylinder exhaust port attachment flanges. The operator grounded its fleet until a cause has been determined.Part total time – 200 hours.
Engine Intake Crack
While changing the engine oil, the technician noticed a heavy fuel stain at the flange end of an induction tube.After removing the flange retainer, the technician discovered the number four cylinder intake pipe was cracked around approximately one-half of its diameter. Continental issued SB 98-8, which recommends replacing the one-piece induction pipes for cylinders one and three. The submitter recommended installing a two-piece pipe on the number two and number four cylinders.Part total time – 434 hours.
Piper PA-28-151 Warrior
Landing Gear Failure
The pilot reported that during a landing, the aircraft bounced and the left main landing gear collapsed.A technician found the lower section of the strut was missing. The scissors bolt was also missing and could not be located.Part total time – 3,121 hours.
Piper PA-28R-200 Arrow
Engine Mount Crack
During a 100-hour inspection, the inspector discovered a crack on the engine mount structure.The engine mount was cracked at the top left side. Piper Service Letter 568 provides inspection criteria and a repair scheme for defects found. The FAA Service Difficulty Reporting system data base contains 12 additional reports of defective engine mounts.
Piper PA-32R-300 Lance
Engine Oil Cooler Failure
Shortly after takeoff, the pilot noticed a zero indication on the oil pressure indicator. He returned for landing and the engine quit on final approach, but he landed safely. The lower surface of the engine cowling and the fuselage were covered with engine oil. A technician found a hole in the bottom of the engine oil cooler that had been installed as part of an STCd cowling modification a year earlier. The FAA has received other similar reports of engine oil cooler leakage.Part total time – 117 hours.
Piper PA-46-350P Malibu Mirage
Low Oil Pressure Indication
Following takeoff, the pilot noticed a decrease in engine oil pressure and elected to return to the airport.The pilot taxied to the ramp with the engine at 1,500 rpm to keep engine oil pressure above redline. The right brake caught fire by the time the aircraft arrived at the parking ramp. The fire department was standing by and immediately extinguished the fire. Pieces of dirt or sand were in the oil pressure relief valve seat, allowing engine oil to bypass through the relief valve and cause a lower pressure indication.