Cessna: 172 Series; Cracked Rear Wing Spar; ATA 5711

Cessna: 172 Series; Cracked Rear Wing Spar; ATA 5711

(The following is published as received from the associate Aircraft Certification Office Manager in Wichita,Kansas. Contact information follows article.)

“During replacement of an inboard flap track a crack was found in the rear wing spar as reported in Cessna Pilot Association magazine on page 7962, dated August 2005. A search of the SDRS database found three airplanes where cracked spars were detected. These cracks were reported at and between December 15, 2004 and February 1, 2005. The total time in service (TIS) for these three airplanes ranged between 12,000 and 16,000 hours of operation. The cracks are difficult to detect as they are hidden between the lower skin and the flap track support rib. Use of a magnifying glass and a bright light or Borescope will assist the inspection. If the cracks found were allowed to grow, they could ultimately lead to loss of a wing.

“It is recommended the rear wing spar be thoroughly inspected at the next regularly scheduled inspection on airplanes that have 12,000 hours or more time in service.”

(Further inquiry may be directed to: FAA, Aircraft Certification Office (ACE-118W), Gary Park, Aerospace Engineer, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Mid-Continent Airport, Wichita, Kansas. 316-946-4123.)

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