In September 2020, the FAA released an airworthiness directive (2021-04-10) regarding Cessna 208 and Cessna 208B elevator inspections. The directive was released after a series of reports on loose elevator torque tube attach fasteners. Here’s what you need to know.
What the FAA Airworthiness Directive Says
The airworthiness directive requires repetitive inspection of the inboard and outboard elevator torque tube attachments for loose or incorrectly installed fasteners. Depending on airframe hours and if there are any loose or incorrectly installed fasteners found on the Cessna 208 or 208B, then the airworthiness directive dictates that all fasteners be replaced and that the condition is, of course, reported to the FAA. Once all fasteners are replaced it is terminating action for the AD note.
It is important to note that the reports of loose elevator torque tube attach fasteners only pertained to certain serial-numbered models where the inboard and outboard elevator torque tube connections were oversized and the torque tube connections were installed incorrectly. Those serial numbers are:
- 20800564 thru 20800594
- 20800603 thru 20800605
- 208B5141 thru 208B5285
- 208B5287 thru 208B5305
- 208B5307 thru 208B5312
- 208B5316 thru 208B5344
- 208B5346 thru 208B5350
- 208B5356 thru 208B5359
- 208B5362 thru 208B5366
While this may not necessarily apply to your Cessna 208 or 208B, the elevator inspection requirements still apply.
Getting Your Cessna 208 and Cessna 208B Elevators Inspected
Inspection of the Cessna 208 and Cessna 208B elevator fasteners is relatively simple. The inspection is typically combined with another scheduled inspection and at first involves a visual inspection of the elevator torque tube.
Your aircraft maintenance technician will visually inspect your Cessna for loose rivets, any visible fretting or incorrectly installed fasteners. The fretting will be identified by black streaking, which appears after aluminum parts have moved against each other, creating wear. The incorrectly installed fasteners will appear loose in the mounting and not set properly flush.
If any issues are identified at all, all rivets are replaced. The reasoning behind this is that, if there is wear on one, there is wear on multiple, and if one is improperly installed, more may be improperly installed as well. This means that a total of 48 fasteners are replaced if any single inboard or outboard elevator torque tube attach fastener is loose or incorrectly installed.
This inspection must occur before an aircraft has accumulated 800 flight hours, but before 200 hours after the effective data of the AD (whichever comes first).
Combining Your Elevator Inspection with Other Cessna Inspections
Talk with your MRO about what inspections can be combined with your Cessna elevator inspection. Depending on how many flight hours you have accrued and depending on what your Caravan Phased Inspection Program states, your MRO may talk with you about combining the elevator inspection with:
- Visual inspection of hinges and mounting brackets
- Borescope inspection along the leading edges and mounting of the elevator
Your MRO may also discuss a visual inspection of the elevator torque tube and operating brackets. During this inspection, the maintenance technician will hold one elevator in a streamline position while pushing on the other to look for relative movement between the mounting structure and associated bell crank and rivets. If movement is found, they may discuss a complete replacement with an oversized rivet.
By combining other Cessna inspections with your elevator inspection, you’ll be able to reduce downtime and save on labor costs.
Let Winner Aviation Inspect Your Cessna
At Winner Aviation, we’ll diligently work to reduce your downtime and help you save on labor costs wherever possible. Our thorough maintenance technicians will walk you through all of the inspection opportunities available to you at the moment, and help you budget for your inspection accordingly. Winner Aviation is a Factory Authorized Service Center for Cessna Textron Aviation’s single engine piston aircraft up through Cessna Caravan 208B. Contact us today for a free quote, or to talk with one of our technicians.