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FAA Reissues Cessna Seat Rail/Locking Pin AD

May 13, 2011 — The FAA has reissued an airworthiness directive (AD) for owners of Cessna 150, 152, 170, 172, 175, 177, 180, 182, 185, 188, 190, 195, 206, 207, 210, T303, 336, and 337 series airplanes concerning the wear of the seat attachment rails and the associated hardware that ensures the pilot and copilot’s seats are firmly mounted and locked in position. The new AD retains all the actions of the original one issued in 1990, with added steps to the inspection procedures, added revised figures, and clarification of some of the existing steps. The new AD is effective June 17, 2011.

The FAA issued the AD “to prevent seat slippage or the seat roller housing from departing the seat rail, which may consequently cause the pilot/copilot to be unable to reach all the controls. This failure could lead to the pilot/copilot losing control of the airplane.”

 Subsequent to the issuance of the original AD in 1990, the FAA “received several reports of accidents, some fatal, for Cessna airplanes where the primary latch pin for the pilot/copilot seat is not properly engaged in the seat rail/track.”

The time interval for the AD remains at 100 hours. Some commenters had asked that the requirement be based on an annual basis; the FAA declined to make the change, stating the wear of the seat retention components was based on their belief that “the unsafe condition of excessive wear results from usage, not calendar time. The more an airplane is used, the more likely wear will develop, causing an unsafe condition.”

A number of other comments and suggested changes to the AD were submitted to the agency; the FAA’s responses to submitted comments are included in the notice of the final rule, which can be downloaded here.

The new AD, 2011-10-09, can be downloaded from the FAA’s Regulatory and Guidance Library here. It supersedes AD 87-20-03 R2, Amendment 39-6669.

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