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Cessna Strikes Again
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brianh
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 PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:59 am    Post subject: Cessna Strikes Again Reply with quote Back to top

To: All Cessna 441 Conquest Operators
Subject: Cessna 441 Supplemental Inspection Document
Dear Sir/Ma’am,
SAFETY-CRITICAL INFORMATION FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
AND ACTION
I write to advise you that the Cessna Aircraft Company has recently issued a Supplemental Inspection Document (SID) for the Model 441. If you have not yet received this SID, I urge you to contact Cessna immediately to obtain a copy.

This SID contains critically important instructions about the maintenance of all Cessna 441 aircraft, including the imposition of an unconditional life limit of 22,500 hours. Beyond this, the manufacturer can no longer assure the continued airworthiness of the aircraft.

This means that Cessna 441s that have reached or exceeded 22,500 hours can no longer be operated safely. The Director has today signed a special direction under Regulation 11.245 of the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998 effectively grounding these aircraft.

You are to cease all operations in Cessna 441 aircraft that have reached or exceeded 22,500 hours time in service by midnight on 24 August 2007.

Important and useful information about implementing SIDs generally is contained in CASA’s latest Airworthiness Bulletin 02-007, Cessna's Supplemental Inspection (SIDs) and Corrosion Prevention and Control Programs (CPCPs). This Airworthiness Bulletin appears on the CASA web site, www.casa.gov.au (click 'Airworthiness', then see 'Recent Airworthiness Bulletins').

If you have any questions, please see 'Contacting CASA' at the end of the Airworthiness Bulletin.
Yours sincerely


James Coyne
A/g General Manager
Airworthiness Engineering Branch
24 August 2007
 
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 PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:53 am    Post subject: CASA grounds Cessna Conquests over 22,500 hours Reply with quote Back to top

    CASA grounds Cessna Conquests over 22,500 hours
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority ruled late yesterday that all Cessna 441 Conquest planes with more than 22,500 hours service would have to be on the ground by midnight.

It spent the day contacting operators to tell them of the decision.

The move comes after Cessna said it would not support the Conquests after 22,500 hours because the plane's its airworthiness could no longer be assured at that age.

There are about 34 Conquests flying in Australia and CASA believes about six will be affected immediately.

The twin turboprop Conquest was developed in the 1970s to bridge the gap between Cessna's piston engine planes and its jets.

It has a pressurised cabin and is capable of carrying up to 11 people. CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said the manufacturer was worried about cracking in the pressurised fuselage, corrosion in the tail and general structural decay.

It was not clear last night how many small airlines and charter companies would be hit by the grounding but it is understood South Australian regional operator O'Connor Airlines had one of the affected planes.

The ban on Conquests initially extends for year to see whether a party other than Cessna wants to take the expensive decision to develop an inspection and remedial maintenance regime for the aircraft.

Operators will also be allowed to ferry the aircraft back to their home base if they can satisfy CASA it is safe to do so and the authority approves the flight in writing.

Not all regulators have grounded the aircraft and US authorities are among those yet to make a move.

Source: The Australian
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22303180-23349,00.html
 
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Bob Murphie
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 PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

CASA 316/07 - Direction - Cessna 441 Conquest

On 24th August 2007, the Director of Aviation Safety signed a
direction under regulation 11.245 of the Civil Aviation Safety
Regulations 1998, directing that Cessna 441 aircraft (Conquest) may
not be flown at any time or for any purpose while the direction is in
force, unless the Director approves in writing (CASA 316/07
<http://www.casa.gov.au/rules/miscinst/2007/CASA316.pdf>
). The instrument was lodged with the Federal Register of Legislative
Instruments on 24 August 2007, was registered on 24 August and came
into effect on 25 August 2007.
 
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Tunes
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 PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

This is no surprise as the owner of a Cessna Twin I have been aware the Cessna SID program would pick up all the FAR 23 certified propellor driven twins.

The SID program is now a part of the Manufacturers Maintenance Manual.

It is particularly strong on structures for the pressurised twins and the C441, C421,C414 and C340 are all captured on hours flown rather than pressurisation cycles.

Just so happens the C441 because they are such a great fast mid distance charter aircraft have accreud hours faster than the lighter twins.

The SID program sure beats a wing separating on long final I can tell you.
 
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GAOZ-IFR
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Will AOPA be objecting to this move?
It obviously will have a devastating financial impact on Conquest owners whose aircraft fall into that category.

Will Cessna be approached for assistance, or compensation, as a result of this sudden ban on their product?

Someone in CASA doesn't like old aircraft, regardless of the maintenance and restoration work that's been carried out on them.
 
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Tunes
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Compensation against fair wear and tear on 30 year old aircraft, c'mon be real.

The structures team at CASA are amongst the best in the world and that is coming from me, a hardened critic of most of CASA.

Fact is Cessna have rewritten their manuals to include the SID program for ageing aircraft, this was in part prompted by a number of wing separations in flight of C 402 aircraft in the U.S. over the past decade.

The separations all ended in tragedy and were all high time aircraft generally used in air taxi operation as is the C 441 mostly used in the U.S. today.

The salient difference between the C 402 and the C 441 is that the 402 is not pressurised and thus subject to less cycle stress than the 441.

Is the limit on the C 441 justified ?? I suspect there has been a lot of very careful examination of the way these 30 year old structires were designed in coming to the limit.

One should bear in mind that the FAR 23 standards to which these aircraft were designed and constructred require no physical limit testing of structures to find their absolute break loads/cycle times. The standard of design relies on the body of knowledge of the Industry over time and which is applied at the time of certification/type approval.

The structures are 35 year old design.

The other compounding factor is the varying maintenance practices over the past 30 years on individual airframes, the Cessna SID program now included in the maintenance manual standardises maintenance of the airframes on all Cessna twins ( except the C 303, it is yet to come) that are in the potential high time/ high cycles zone.

Airframe limits set by time/cycles are not new phenomena, they save lives. A wing separation in flight will not improve your day.
 
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GAOZ-IFR
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Age alone isn't a good enough reason to (suddenly) ground an aircraft type.
There are plenty of pressurised aircraft older than 30 years still flying.
Common sense would dictate that a proper inspection, maintenance, and parts replacement regime was not prescribed by Cessna, nor CASA, for the C441.

If aircraft over 30 years old are going to be grounded with 48 hours notice - and observe, it was done over a week-end, as are many controversial political statements and decrees - then the RAAF is flying on a wing and a prayer.
 
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Biggles Flies Undone
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Folks,
It ain't really optional for Cessna, either, and no conspiracy, see:

October 1991, Congress enacted Title IV. of Public Law 102–143, known as the. Aging Aircraft Safety Act of 1991.

For some bedtime reading:
http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/2007/pdf/B20050205.pdf

Tootle pip!!

PS:
Quote:
Age alone isn't a good enough reason to (suddenly) ground an aircraft type.


Unfortunately for C441 owners, Cessna have decided otherwise, and, in effect, the type certificate expires for aircraft over 22,500 hours.
 
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brianh
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

GAOZ

I think Tunes sums it well, ditto your last post.

It is in a way a disgrace that aircraft are made so inadequately at the price. Pity Toyota never moved into GA manufacture.

Have a read - if not previously - of http://www.casa.gov.au/airworth/papers/AeroCommander.pdf
(with thanks to snarek)

Worse to come. I absolutely disagree with the commercial comment therein, but this from CASA in AWB 02-007
"6.1 Aircraft without SIDs
Most old, small aircraft do not yet have SIDs and CPCPs. Their lower maintenance cost could unfairly help them win business from Cessnas and other aircraft that do have SIDs and CPCPs.
We are discussing this potential safety issue with other authorities."

Remember the days when only the rich owned aircraft? They may be returning based on the SIDs. And right through down to the humble C150. But, if you were an a/c manufacturer and turning out the cr@p they market, I guess you would be concerned about your long term reliability and the litigation potential.

And, how better to sell new a/c than grounding the old Rolling Eyes
 
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Tunes
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Folks, read this and understand:

http://www.casa.gov.au/airworth/papers/gnats.pdf

Steve Swift is a gentleman and very professional, Australia is lucky to have him.
 
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Anyone who has read through the Australian Government (ATSB) "Impact of Ageing Aircraft on Aviation Safety" at the link provided by Biggles
http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/2007/pdf/B20050205.pdf
will see that the ink has still not dried on this report, having been written only 6 months ago (in February)..

But the intent is clear, in my opinion.
They've started with a warning shot, mandating that a token number of Cessna 441 Conquests (about 6) be immediately grounded, pre-empting even the United States on this one.
The bigger target appears to be the piston-engined aircraft.
From the paper,
"In Australia, the average age of turbofan fleet is low, and has been is decreasing (sic). Multi-engine turbofan aircraft with a maximum take-off weight between 50,001 and 100,000 kg had the lowest average age in 2005 at just 6 years. et seq

The piston engine fixed-wing aircraft fleet, by contrast, had the highest average age at 30 years.
These aircraft often do not receive the same level of continuing airworthiness support from the manufacturer as the turbofan aircraft. In Australia, multi-engine piston aircraft are often used in regular public transport and charter operations, and therefore the high average age needs to be considered in relation to their safe operation in passenger services."

Anyone care to guess where the axe will fall next?

And Vaille says the future of Australian G.A. looks bright.

The ass is about to drop out of the Australian General Aviation market, as this government whacks the capital value of those companies with older (but often well maintained) aircraft for a six.
 
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Tunes
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

General Aviation has always been bedeviled by an almost pathalogical misunderstanding of Certification Standards and the differences in long term operation of airframes that comes with the differences.

Transport Aircraft > 5700 KG are certified FAR 25 and with that comes ongoing servicing requirements to maintain continuing airwortiness.

General Aviation < 5700 kg certified to FAR 23 don't have the same continuing airwortiness standards laid down in the FAR, so the U.S. Government passed the ageing aircraft act to empower the FAA to cause the various manufacturers to create ageing aircraft compliance with continuing airworthiness standards.

It so happens Cessna as a responsible manufacturer has complied first with the U.S. Act, as yet Piper ( the defunct company) and Beech as the other 2 primary manufacturers are yet to act.

If I were a betting man I wouldn't place my bets on the various products from other manufacturers coming out of this scott free, there is a long way to go yet.

Since the demise of light twin manufacture in the U.S. following the manufacturers liability litigation debacle it is a fact that the population of light twins ex the U.S. will ultimately fade away, to build new light twins is prohibitive in cost and the market just cannot sustain demand at the infalted prices.

SIDS maintained aircraft will hold their value as there is nothing to replace them.
 
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Folks,

How many times does it need to be said ---- ALL CASA have done is forcefully draw attention to a provision of the Cessna MM. FAA don't have to do anything, it AUTOMATICALLY applies to "charter" (FAR Part 135, and up). I doubt any C441 were in private use in Australia, so all CASA have done is "brought to your attention ----"

It is all about the pressure vessel.

All the SID's for unpressurised various Cessna allow for repair, not retirement. It is a feature of later editions of FAR 23 that a retirement life can be included in the type certification, so tread warily and do your homework.

There was/is nothing wrong with the original design and certification, no aircraft is built for an unlimited life.

Happy days!!

HooRoo!!
 
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GAOZ-IFR
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The problem, as I see it, is Cessna have put a blanket "end of life" on their Conquests , regardless of the types of operations these aircraft may have been carrying out.
Who's to say that any of those 6 aircraft ever flew pressurised, or anywhere near to their maximum ceiling?

Speaking of the "pressure vessel", the life of the metal is influenced more by the number of cycles, ie. the number of expansions and contractions the skin underwent, than by the actual pressure.
An aircraft that flew long sectors at high altitudes, would have experienced less fatigue than a similar model operating short hops, where it was pumped up, and then deflated.

None of this has been factored in, so effectively we should assume that Cessna build their aircraft with an end of life of 22,500 hours by their own admission.

This is another example of the inconsistencies of CASA.
Here, they assume a "worst case" scenario - all Australian Conquests have flown short, multiple sectors, instead of long single sectors for their 22,500 hours.
Yet in other safety issues, they assume a "best case/high improbability" stand.

Inconsistency is CASA's most consistent characteristic.

If the blanket 22,500 hours is going to assumed as the end of life for the Conquest, then I suggest CASA should ground ALL Cessna aircraft that have attained this flight time.
Quote:
"no aircraft is built for an unlimited life."
There are still DC3 aircraft flying with more than 60 years air time under their wings.

How ironic that QANTAS, the Australian flagship airline, uses John Travolta's B707 as a promotional vehicle.

How old is that Tiger Moth you fly, Biggles? Cool
 
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Tunes
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 PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

GA OZ Knowledge is a powerful thing, you cannot operate a C 441 Conquest unpressurised, it simply won't go anywhere, those Garrett TPE 331 -8 are thirsty beasts.

The DC 3 or Dakota was certified in another era.

Military aircraft in general don't meet the civil certification standards, it is a quite different structural exercise to design aircraft that are battle damage tolerant as opposed to aircraft in revenue service passenger carrying.
 
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