The FAA has proposed a new AD that would affect several models of Cessna 180s, 182s, and 185s. The AD would require inspection of the tail section including stabilizer hinge brackets, tailcone reinforcement angles, stabilizer hinge reinforcement channel, stabilizer hinge assemblies, stabilizer aft spar reinforcement, and the lower half of the stabilizer aft spar. Parts found to be cracked will need to be replaced.
The proposal came after the FAA received reports of cracks in the tailcone and horizontal stabilizer attachment structure on a T 185 airplane. Subsequent investigation discovered similar cracks on 29 additional 180 and 185 series aircraft. The agency determined that the cracks were caused by the attachment structure design in combination with high loads during landing.
A Textron service letter from 2017 — SEL-55-01 — addresses this concern and required actions listed in that letter closely mirror those in the FAA’s AD proposal.
Comments on the AD will be open through June 29, 2020, and can be made here.