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  #16  
Old 08-24-09, 05:55 PM
larry bowdish's Avatar
larry bowdish larry bowdish is offline
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Cessna Meeting

We have learned that Cessna has scheduled a meeting for Thursday.
If you have not already submitted the survey that was emailed to you, please do so as soon as possible.

In some cases, the email address on file is not valid. As a result, you never got it. Please take a minute in the "UserCP" to update your email address.

I will post the survey form, and you can either email it to me, fax it to me, or send the data in a Private Message.
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  #17  
Old 08-24-09, 06:02 PM
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Survey Form

N number _________
Serial number __________
Year and model __________

How long have you owned it __________
Total airframe time __________
Your location ____________
Are you Private, Commercial or an ATP ___________

Is your aircraft used in your business, and if so, what percentage of the time is spent on business. ______

Is your aircraft used, or has it been used for low level terrain following operations (e.g pipeline patrol, cattle management)?______

Average hours you fly annually, over the past 2 years. ____________

Is your airplane kept in a hangar? How long have you kept it hangared? ____________
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  #18  
Old 08-25-09, 11:58 AM
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337 Sid

I would hope that if Cessna decides there is a potential SID issue with the 337's they make it a point to exclude any 336/02 data from their data base. It would hardly seem logical to mix the standard catageory historical use and condition of the 337 and non military 336's in with the condition of aircraft that were used in military service.
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  #19  
Old 08-25-09, 12:02 PM
Paul462 Paul462 is offline
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Exclamation

Mike Busch, author of Cessna 400-Series Wing Spar Update, and who had considerable involvement in that situation, has this to say:


Paul, I'm not sure why you're so concerned about this. The Cessna SIDs have no regulatory impact in the US, except possibly for Part 135 operators who have committed to comply with service bulletins in their op specs. (I don't think there are a lot of 337s in Part 135 service.) We've seen absolutely no evidence that the FAA intends to mandate any of the SIDs via Airworthiness Directive, except for the 400-series twins where they've already done so. It looks to me as if Cessna ultimately will issue SIDs on all their piston GA aircraft. The FAA is not involved in this: SIDs are essentially giant service bulletins issued unilaterally by Cessna without FAA involvement or concurrence. Unless the FAA makes some radical course change, Part 91 operators can simply ignore the SIDs. Unless you're aware of some actual safety-related aging-aircraft issues with the 337 that could trigger FAA rulemaking action, I would not lose any sleep over this.

The situation is different in some other countries, where the local CAAs require Part 91 operators to comply with the SIDs. The Cessna SIDs program has been a real disaster for owners in Australia, for example. But in the U.S., it has been more or less a non-issue (except for the 401/402/411/414 aircraft affected by the spar-strap AD).

I don't think it's worth trying to oppose the SIDs unless the FAA issues an SAIB or NPRM that suggests they are planning to mandate any of them. In the absence of such a signal from the FAA, making a big deal over the SIDs can only be counterproductive by focusing FAA attention on the subject. My thoughts, for what they're worth.

Best...Mike


We asked Mike about the reasons that the 337 SID may not come back to haunt us as an AD, and he responded:


The 400-series spar-strap ADs were triggered by a series of unfortunate events and decisions.

There was a fatal accident in a 402C where the wing came off in flight. The airplane had 20,000 hours, and the NTSB investigation revealed that the origin of the spar fatigue failure was a pre-existing flaw in the spar that was there when the aircraft originally rolled out of the Cessna factory. In addition, the aircraft had previously had a hard-landing incident that tore a main gear leg out of the wing and overstressed the spar beyond design limits. Despite both of these problems, the airplane flew 20,000 hours before the wing came off. This was a one-time freak accident, but it put the 402 on the FAA's radar screen anyway -- specifically the aging aircraft folks (notably Marv Nuss) at the FAA Small Airplane Directorate in Kansas City. That is never a good thing.

Then, the FAA became aware of some spark cap cracks (not failures) in a few old high-time tip-tank 402s that had been in Grand Canyon sightseeing service, and had been operated at an extreme corner of the loading envelope with extremely heavy cabin loads and extremely light fuel loads in turbulent conditions, thereby placing tension stresses on the lower spar cap far in excess of what is ever experienced in airplanes operated with more normal cabin and fuel loads. (I strongly suspect that these aircraft were operating over-gross, but of course can't prove it.)

Under the circumstances, an AD mandating lower spark cap reinforcement for the 402 was inevitable. We tried very very had to persuade the FAA to limit the scope of the AD to the 402, because no other 400-series twin has ever exhibited any spar cracking and no other 400-series twin operates in the extreme corner of the loading envelope that these 402s did. Despite our best efforts, the FAA rejected our arguments and issued a spar-strap AD that affected 401s, 411s and 414s, none of which had ever exhibited any problems because they're never operated in the extreme loadings that the problem 402s used. Owners of those models were unfortunately caught in the crossfire over the 402 spar issues, and I feel bad that we were not able to prevent this (and heaven knows we tried).

Unless and until actual cracks or other clear safety-of-flight issues appear in other Cessna models (and I sincerely doubt that they will), I see no reason for the FAA to consider ADs against 300-series Wallace twins, Skymasters, or Centurions..

I don't have a crystal ball, so I could be wrong. I hope not.

Best...Mike



Thanks for the input, Mike!
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T337C

Last edited by Paul462 : 08-25-09 at 10:44 PM.
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  #20  
Old 08-25-09, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger View Post
It would hardly seem logical to mix the standard catageory historical use and condition of the 337 and non military 336's in with the condition of aircraft that were used in military service.
Like I mentioned in another thread, some civillian 337's were used in aerial survey, fish spotting, powerline and pipeline patrols, and some 337's are still used for this purpose, so you cannot exclude any airplane from this effort.

For instance, if you own a 1966 model, and you bought the airplane in 2002, you have a history of who the airplane was registered to, but you don't how it was operated up to the point that you became familiar with it.
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  #21  
Old 08-25-09, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul462 View Post
Mike Busch, author of Cessna 400-Series Wing Spar Update, and who had considerable involvement in that situation, has this to say:

Paul, I'm not sure why you're so concerned about this. The Cessna SIDs have no regulatory impact in the US, except possibly for Part 135 operators who have committed to comply with service bulletins in their op specs. (I don't think there are a lot of 337s in Part 135 service.)
Here in the West there are quite a few 337s in Part 135 service (or on contracts requiring Part 135 levels) to the Forest Service for fire fighting/spotting; to the BLM for a myriad of range management duties; to Interior, Energy, Homeland Security, Border Patrol, Joint Drug Task Forces, etc.

The requirement to go to digital tactical radios was already a big financial hit.

Any program with an impact like the one for the 401 and 402 fleets would be devastating.

Last edited by iswap : 08-25-09 at 07:57 PM.
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  #22  
Old 08-25-09, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by skymstr02 View Post
Like I mentioned in another thread, some civillian 337's were used in aerial survey, fish spotting, powerline and pipeline patrols, and some 337's are still used for this purpose, so you cannot exclude any airplane from this effort.
Yes you can delineate it. Separate by O-2, 336 and civilian 337. It's not a matter of "exclusion" but rather model. And it's a known fact the O-2's lived a harder life and also had wing hard points.
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  #23  
Old 08-25-09, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropical View Post
Yes you can delineate it. Separate by O-2, 336 and civilian 337. It's not a matter of "exclusion" but rather model. And it's a known fact the O-2's lived a harder life and also had wing hard points.
What I'm saying is that some civil registered 337's may have experienced the same stresses that an O-2 has. If you are not the original purchaser from Cessna on your aircraft, you do not know what kind of stresses have been accumulated on the airframe. i used to work on a 337G, N200ZF, that was a fish spotter. It had a 175 gal fuselage fuel tank to give it 22 hour endurance. It was not uncommon for that airplane to take off at 6100 lbs, and seven leg it from Houston to Cape Town South Africa. What kind of stresses have been placed on that wing structure?

Fatigue is cumulative on aluminum and it doesn't matter if Lt. Hamfist or commercial pilot Hamhand is at the controls.

O-2A wings are different from 337 wings, as there is additional structure on the rear spar to absorb the firing loads from the hard points. The wing spars and center carry thru spars are also physically larger than its civillian cousins. Even the wing attach bolts are two sizes larger than its 337 counterpart. An O-2 wing will not mate up to a civil fuselage.

There's no way that a prudent engineer could simply dismiss a portion of the population just because if was never in military service.
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  #24  
Old 08-26-09, 06:15 AM
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larry bowdish larry bowdish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skymstr02 View Post
What I'm saying is that some civil registered 337's may have experienced the same stresses that an O-2 has. If you are not the original purchaser from Cessna on your aircraft, you do not know what kind of stresses have been accumulated on the airframe. i used to work on a 337G, N200ZF, that was a fish spotter. It had a 175 gal fuselage fuel tank to give it 22 hour endurance. It was not uncommon for that airplane to take off at 6100 lbs, and seven leg it from Houston to Cape Town South Africa. What kind of stresses have been placed on that wing structure?

Fatigue is cumulative on aluminum and it doesn't matter if Lt. Hamfist or commercial pilot Hamhand is at the controls.

O-2A wings are different from 337 wings, as there is additional structure on the rear spar to absorb the firing loads from the hard points. The wing spars and center carry thru spars are also physically larger than its civillian cousins. Even the wing attach bolts are two sizes larger than its 337 counterpart. An O-2 wing will not mate up to a civil fuselage.

There's no way that a prudent engineer could simply dismiss a portion of the population just because if was never in military service.
You are absolutely correct. And when we ask if your airplane is used for low level work, even then we are not getting a good picture of what that means.

Take for example someone doing fire spotting, where they are making tight turns, maneuvering at low altitudes, with lots of thermals. At the other end of the spectrum, some one who is doing polar bear tracking, where, they are flying over a non-thermal environment, basically straight and level, though at a low altitude.

You can't simply say 0-2's had higher stresses. I would argue that the fire spotter gets more stresses, on a continuing basis, than most of the 0-2's in civilian service. Remember that the 0-2's that were beat up pretty badly were simply scrapped.

When you buy a plane, and you look at the log books, you can't tell what kind of use the aircraft had. My former aircraft had lots of hours, but it was a all used as a corp plane for a collection of companies, and for a number of years, was flying every day.
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  #25  
Old 08-26-09, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by larry bowdish View Post
You are absolutely correct. And when we ask if your airplane is used for low level work, even then we are not getting a good picture of what that means.

Take for example someone doing fire spotting, where they are making tight turns, maneuvering at low altitudes, with lots of thermals. At the other end of the spectrum, some one who is doing polar bear tracking, where, they are flying over a non-thermal environment, basically straight and level, though at a low altitude.

You can't simply say 0-2's had higher stresses. I would argue that the fire spotter gets more stresses, on a continuing basis, than most of the 0-2's in civilian service. Remember that the 0-2's that were beat up pretty badly were simply scrapped.

When you buy a plane, and you look at the log books, you can't tell what kind of use the aircraft had. My former aircraft had lots of hours, but it was a all used as a corp plane for a collection of companies, and for a number of years, was flying every day.
By lumping O-2's into the mix with a civilian 337 you are asking for trouble. The FAA is not the smartest operation around and they tend to go with the worst case scenario. Back years ago the FAA issued a wing demating for PA28 and PA32 airplanes because a PA32 shed a wing in flight. But if one looked into the circumstances the plane that created the AD was flown in Alaska, off of rocky strips carrying cargo (overweight).

You are relying on the benevolence of the FAA. Look at it this way, this is a negotiation. You don't go in with what you feel is adequate. Go in with a lot more conditions because I will guarantee you they will cut them down to get right to the point. Unless you guys want to wind up with a cost prohibitive AD on these planes you better be careful. Cessna would love to get rid of all these old planes and the corresponding liability and the FAA would be all to willing to help them.
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  #26  
Old 08-26-09, 10:08 AM
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Please note that I've added a 6th poll to determine how often you fly with a cabin load which is roughly half the maximum. Sorry we didn't post this with the earlier polls.

Ernie
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  #27  
Old 08-26-09, 11:43 AM
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My original post was meant to discuss the possibility that the extreme use (and possible operations outside of the normal envelope due to military use) of 02's could perhaps cause harm to the data set used by the FAA. This has then brought up the question of operations of 336/337's in environments that are also outside of "normal".

The better question would perhaps be: If a 336/337 or 02 was used in a category other than "normal" and or was used under 91.323 in Alaska allowing for heavier gross weight, should it be used in the data set?

For precedent, the FAA should be asked if the 400 series data that was used to predicate the AD included aircraft that were "known" to have exceded their "normal civilian" operating parameters. If the answer is no, then clearly the FAA should not use 336/337-02 aricraft that were knowingly operated outside of the aircrafts civilian standard operating envelope and weight limitations.

Of course there are aircraft that have been operated outside of their normal envelope on "occasion or by accident" but that is something that would be virtually impossible to know. However if the non-standard operations are known, those aircraft should be excluded with out question.
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  #28  
Old 08-28-09, 09:48 PM
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Thanks for the info Ernie. Just out of curiosity, do you have any idea if the FAA is looking into SID's for aircraft manufactured by someone other than Cessna or are they singling out Cessna for some reason?
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  #29  
Old 08-29-09, 01:06 AM
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No idea, but my guess is that all the manufacturers have been tasked and funded to do the same.

Ernie
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  #30  
Old 08-29-09, 12:11 PM
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Wichita Meeting

We had a productive meeting with Cessna yesterday. There were 9 people from Cessna and these 7 guests/users: 3 owners (Steve Keller, Steve Walz and me, all very familiar with the aircraft), 2 from Commodore Aerospace (Don Nieser and his structures person, Larry Good) and 2 from AirScan (which operates 23 late-model Skymasters).

For context let me mention that this SID exercise is FAA driven and is expected to be followed by similar exercises for other Cessna aircraft models.

Here, in brief, are my impressions:

1. Cessna has been working on this for roughly 6 months or more. Some of the documents date to March and some of the Cessna people at the meeting visited Steve Keller about 6 months ago to get a first-hand look at his airplane (most of these people were unfamiliar with Skymasters because they were not around when they were designed, built and tested, and Cessna does not have a significant database of experience with the aircraft).

2. Unlike the 400-series SID program, this is an experience-based, not analytically-based program. No finite-element structural analysis of the aircraft is planned. Instead, the Cessna people went to the FAA's Service Difficulty Reports (SDRS) database and used that as the basis for the proposed SIDs. At the time of the meeting, Cessna had written draft SIDs and the meeting was in part intended to get the usersí inputs on these proposed SIDs.

3. Approximately 23 proposed SIDs were reviewed, some in more detail than others.

4. For some, the guests were surprised by, and expressed disagreement with, the area in question and/or the initial compliance requirement (for instance, 7,500 hrs or 20 years).

a) As an example, one may call for an inspection for cracks in a wing area where none of the users have ever seen a crack, either on very-high-time aircraft or aircraft that have seen high-load accidents, yet there were no SIDs for other areas of the wing which are susceptible to damage due to fatigue or excessive loads.

b) Or one may call for inspection at 20 years (from manufacture) when itís a fatigue (not corrosion) issue, so that an aircraft which has sat in a hangar since manufacture and never flown would be subject to this SID looking for fatigue cracks. Or the SID may call for an inspection requiring massive aircraft disassembly even if there is no corrosion evident in easy-to-inspect adjacent/comparable areas.


5. As a result of these user comments, Cessna agreed to look more closely at the SDRS data (some of which are 15 Ė 20 years old) to try to determine whether they may have come from questionable aircraft or sources (e.g., an aircraft which may have had an earlier accident and/or improper repair) or misidentified the aircraft or part. Inquiries I performed after the meeting suggest that FAA SDRS data is generally considered suspect in the aircraft maintenance business. If true, then Cessnaís re-examination may bear fruit.

6. Moreover, Don (a retired Air Force Lt. Col. who has over 20 yrs experience with our aircraft, worked for years on aging aircraft and corrosion research for the Air Force, has disassembled and restored dozens of Skymasters, and has many Skymaster aircraft and parts which Cessna can examine) invited Cessna to visit him and see first-hand why he believes that some of the proposed SIDs need re-examination. Roughly, his words were ďWhen you see this item, especially one removed from a high-load, high-fatigue aircraft, youíll see right away that this item canít fail that way, that other parts will fail first, that the SDRS data must be from a suspect aircraft or refer to a different partĒ.

7. Cessna also agreed to re-examine the initial compliance requirements, including the possible removal of years-since-manufacture requirement.

8. We were asked to estimate the manpower requirement for each SID.

9. I donít have at this point a schedule of future activities. There wasn't enough time to review all of the proposed SIDs, so we are continuing their review. We talked about the next meeting of this group perhaps held both in person and as a WebEx Internet meeting. With the caveat that all of these points are my impressions, I believe that such a meeting will likely come after we have submitted our views on the unreviewed SIDs and after points 4 Ė 6 above are addressed. Iím hoping that Cessna goes to Donís shop (itís a 3 hour drive) and that Don (and perhaps AirScan and others) can furnish point 7 after that. I expect to contact Cessna and hope to get a better feel for future activities.

In summary, there are some issues that weíre all working through, but I found the Cessna people competent, professional and receptive to considering our points. The attendance of Don and Larry was crucial and I hope that they can continue contributing.

Ernie
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