Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has launched a safety initiative to educate 100- and 200-series single-engine piston aircraft owners around the world about new supplemental aircraft inspection procedures that will be added to Cessna service manuals.
The supplemental inspections cover Cessna single-engine piston aircraft produced between 1946 and 1986 when Cessna suspended production of piston aircraft. The inspections will be incorporated into the service manuals for the 200-series aircraft in early December and the change for the 100-series aircraft will be made in April 2012.
"The supplemental inspection program we've developed is primarily a visual process aimed at supporting the continued airworthiness of aging airframes," said Beth Gamble, Cessna's principal engineer for airframe structures. "Through this education effort, we hope to answer most questions before we release the revised service manuals. We encourage owners to check in with their local Cessna service affiliate at the appropriate times to have the mandatory inspections completed."
The criteria for initial visual inspections will vary by model and aircraft age or hours of operation and focus primarily on signs of corrosion or structural fatigue damage. Cessna authorized service providers will have special training and access to specific equipment for the inspections and for repairs, if required.
"Corrosion and fatigue are inevitable but with early detection and proper maintenance, severity and effects can be minimized," Gamble said. "The new inspection requirements we've developed are very simple, and are based on visual inspection that can be done quickly by a trained inspector during an annual inspection."
Cessna plans a series of education opportunities on the new inspection procedures starting with the company's authorized parts and service facilities. An interactive presentation is available on the customer access portion of the Customer Service page of Cessna.com and a short video explaining the inspection process is on Cessna's YouTube channel at youtube.com/CessnaAircraftCo.