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TOPIC: Distorted firewall in 182. Is replacement a MUST?

Distorted firewall in 182. Is replacement a MUST? 4 weeks 2 days ago #1041

Thank you both for your reply! You're both saying what I suspected, but I'm not a mechanic. Unfortunately, my mechanic doesn't agree so I will either need to shell out $20k to fix it or find another mechanic. Thanks again!
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Distorted firewall in 182. Is replacement a MUST? 4 weeks 2 days ago #1035

Alan,
What your picture shows is nothing serious. A firewall is a fire-wall. Nothing else. Some times they are slightly bent on purpose, to make room for accessories. Other are patched or spliced and glued together. As long as it keeps a fire out of the cabin, it’s doing it’s job. So answering your question, no, it’s not a MUST if its integrity is not compromised.
Below is a link to an old thread:

cessnaflyer.org/forum/maintenance/124-18...l-reinforcement.html
Last Edit: 4 weeks 2 days ago by Jose Lopezdelpuerto.
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Distorted firewall in 182. Is replacement a MUST? 4 weeks 2 days ago #1034

Determination of airworthiness is somewhat subjective. What one IA might pass, another might not. Judging from your photo, I'd pass it if I were doing the annual, providing there were no other indications of damage such as cracks or bent stiffeners. Is it safe to fly? I wouldn't hesitate if that were all I could find. I agree with the mechanic who said the firewall wasn't structural - it's main purpose is to keep a fire and smokeproof wall between you and the engine compartment. It doesn't really hold anything together or contribute to structural integrity.
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Distorted firewall in 182. Is replacement a MUST? 1 month 22 hours ago #1032

Over a decade ago, the prior owner of my 1966 Cessna 182 skidded off the end of a wet grass strip. The NTSB report says (among other things) that “the firewall was found bent”. Insurance covered a complete repair. I knew of this before I looked at the airplane early this year, so I arranged a pre-buy inspection. The mechanic found a few minor things but said the aircraft was generally in excellent condition, and I bought it.

Since the landing incident 10 years ago, the aircraft has flown about 250 hours (50 of those by me in the past 9 months), and 3 different A&P mechanics have signed off on annuals with no comments about the firewall.

I took it in this month for a new annual, the first since I’ve owned it. My A&P mechanic says the firewall is bent. (I would call it distorted, not bent. See picture attached.) He found several other things (typical of any annual inspection) but found no other damage. He noted that the repairs made after the incident 10 years ago appear to be very high quality, but he is perplexed as to why the firewall was not replaced at that time.

I called the mechanic who did the repairs 10 years ago. He said they repaired and/or reinforced the lower firewall and all the parts around it but did not replace the firewall because there was no need. He said “The firewall is not really structural. We replaced the stuff that is structural, as per AC 43.13.”

SUMMARY: I have a 182 with a distorted firewall. One A&P mechanic says this is fine, the other says it is not airworthy. Two questions: 1) Legally, is it airworthy to fly (if somebody signs the annual)? 2) And if so, is it safe?

Has anyone here run into s similar situation?
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