Proposed AD Affects Roughly 6,600 Cessna Aircraft

The action focuses on certain Cessna 180/182/185 models.

All Cessna 185 models would be affected by the AD, which also covers several early 180 and 182 models.Courtesy George Mendes

A proposed airworthiness directive stands to affect 6,586 Cessna 180, 182, and 185 models, driven by a report of cracks found in the tailcone and horizontal stabilizer attachment on a 185 that had displayed excessive play while undergoing maintenance. “After a detailed inspection, the tailcone reinforcement braces were found cracked on both sides of the airplane,” according to the FAA’s proposed AD document.

Upon investigation of other related models from the same general age cohort, the FAA found similar cracking on 29 additional airplanes. “The FAA determined that the combination of the attachment structure design and high loads during landing contribute to the development of cracks in the tailcone and horizontal stabilizer attachment structure,” reported the proposed AD. “This condition, if unaddressed, could result in failure of the horizontal stabilizer to tailcone attachment and lead to tail separation with consequent loss of control of the airplane.” Guidance already exists in the most part for the remedy of the AD, as the FAA determined that Textron Aviation Single Engine Mandatory Service Letter SEL-55-01, dated December 7, 2017, calls for inspection and remediation of the same areas on the empennage of those Cessna models.

The action’s comment period ends on June 29, 2020, so pilots are encouraged to weigh in soon if they have valuable information or opinions to share.