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TOPIC: Seat Rail AD 2011-10-09

Seat Rail AD 2011-10-09 2 days 14 hours ago #1815

  • STEVE ELLS's Avatar
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Hi John;
Yes, you can get the inspection signed off as "unairworthy." Here's what FAR 43.11, paragraph 5 reads:
(5) Except for progressive inspections, if the aircraft is not approved for return to service because of needed maintenance, noncompliance with applicable specifications, airworthiness directives, or other approved data, the following or a similarly worded statement--"I certify that this aircraft has been inspected in accordance with (insert type) inspection and a list of discrepancies and unairworthy items dated (date) has been provided for the aircraft owner or operator."

The next step in getting your airplane back home would be to contact the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) and apply for what's called a "ferry permit."
I've attached a pdf that outlines the process for getting a ferry permit.

However, as you can see from note 3 (in red) the IA who said, If it's cracked, replace it" may be a problem.

As you and I read the AD, the track is still airworthy if there are small cracks in certain locations. In fact the AD says, "(8) Visually inspect the seat rails for cracks. (i) If there are seat rail cracks that exceed the crack criteria in figure 5, before further flight, replace the seat rail. "
As I read the illustration on page 13, it appears to me to say replace the rail when: 1) any portion of the web or lower flange is cracked. 2) if there's a crack in the crown of the rail in any direction other than at right angle to the length of the rail; 3) if there are 5 (exceeds four) or more cracks across the crown of the rail, or any two cracks are closer together than one inch.

I take this to mean there can be cracks only if the crack is perpendicular to the length of the rail unless there are 5 or more cracks across the crown or, if the cracks that are perpendicular are closer together than one inch.

I hope this explanation helps, and the IA is willing to understand the verbiage and picture in the AD.

File Attachment:

File Name: ferry_permit.pdf
File Size:528 KB

Let me know how it turns out.

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Seat Rail AD 2011-10-09 1 week 1 day ago #1809

What does the AD say?

These seat rail issues can be deadly. Instead of waiting for the annual - why not fix it now?

Agreed - McFarland is your friend.

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Seat Rail AD 2011-10-09 1 week 1 day ago #1808

I previously posted this in the general forum a few days ago and had a couple dozen views but no comments so re-posting it here for 182 forum input with some other thoughts. www.cessnaflyer.org/forum/ad-s-alerts/59...l-ad-2011-10-09.html

I'm running out of runway on making a decision to bring my plane to a new shop for the annual (this weekend). I read another post with similar issue in a 172 and it sounded like a similar situation to mine, they said"We did find slight witness line cracks in the rail but they were in spec" .

My situation: During the last annual, the inspection was performed for AD 2011-10-09 Amendment 39-16690 and a very small crack was discovered in one of the pilot seat rails. It likely had been there for years as the prior owner had very little flight time between annuals.

That said the stock answer seems to be “if crack then replace” and we can all agree it’s a costly pain to comply. After reviewing all 14 pages of the AD, Figure 5 and the accompanying text, it appears my seat does not meet the criteria for replacement similar to the 172 post I quoted above

I was planning on dropping my plane at a new to me shop over Thanksgiving week. Knowing this is a confusing topic I asked and their IA says “if crack then replace”. I don’t want to ignore addressing a required maintenance issue but I’d prefer to put the $1,600 towards avionics on my wish list if possible.

So my expanded question - could I bring my plane to the new A&P for the annual, if the IA does not agree and flags my seat rail can I get a conditional sign off and bring the plane home and have my A&P on the field supervise the seat rail (will use the MacFarlane replacement) and then can my A&P sign off the condition was addressed?

I do want this new A&P to go over the entire plane carefully so I'm not looking for a "pencil" annual but would rather spend the money on other preventative maintenance that maybe needed. The alternative is I find another local IA that agrees the seat rail does not meet the criteria outlined in the AD Figure 5 but my time is running out.

I appreciate any insights from the group.
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