Information Urgently Needed From 400-Series Cessna Owners
AOPA and five other
organizations urgently need to hear from owners of 400-series twin
Cessnas if there's to be any chance of mitigating the effects of
two costly proposed airworthiness directives (ADs). At a two-day
meeting with owners and operators held in March, the FAA agreed to
delay issuing the ADs while industry collected additional
AOPA, the Cessna Pilots Association, Cessna Twin Spar Corp.,
Cessna Owners Organization, Twin Cessna Flyers, and Regional Air
Cargo Carriers Association are working to mitigate the ADs'
effects. There's a special Web site to collect fleet data and
distribute relevant reference materials.
"AOPA strongly encourages all Cessna 400-series owners to
participate in this survey," said AOPA Director of Regulatory and
Certification Policy Luis Gutierrez. "The information gathered will
help determine if the proposed ADs can be made less burdensome,
compliance times increased, implementation schedule altered, and/or
alternative means of compliance (AMOC) approved. AOPA also
encourages the participation of other twin Cessna owners. Cessna is
also developing similar spar strap modifications for its other 300-
and 400-series piston twin models and could potentially ask the FAA
for additional ADs applicable to those models."
The proposed ADs affect more than 1,500 Cessna 401, 401A, 401B,
402, 402A, 402B, 402C, 411, 411A, and 414A aircraft in the U.S.
registry. They would require extensive wing-spar modifications.
Compliance could take an estimated 485 man-hours and up to $70,000
per aircraft and could ground much of the fleet. Compliance actions
require specialized tooling and highly skilled technicians. Only a
few maintenance facilities are currently capable of performing the
During a two-day
meeting in March with those affected by the ADs, the FAA asked that
industry collect information on time in service, inspection status,
operational profiles, and other pertinent information from owners
The information gathered in this survey is essential to counter
Cessna's engineering analysis that uses a single one-size-fits-all
"Aircraft flown under Part 91 lead a far less stressful life
than those in Part 135 service and are likely to have far less
damage history in the wing-spar area than Part 135 airplanes," said
The data gathered in this survey will help convince the FAA that
the proposed compliance times for Part 91 airplanes should not
necessarily be defined by the engineering analysis performed by
Cessna that looked specifically at 402s in commercial service and
supported by six or seven actual aircraft, all of which were Cessna
402s in commercial service.