2011 COG Elevator AD Page
Thank you for visiting the Commander Owners Group's page dedicated to the problems associated with the elevator spar AD issued in 2011 for the Commander.
Documents (requires Adobe Acrobat for viewing):
AMOC for AD 2012-02-10 Rev. 1 (also applies to the original AD)
AMOC Revision 1, clean copy (color pictures w/o official FAA stamp)
Background: Over the first few months of 2011, several 114's were found with cracks in the spars around the elevator outboard hinge areas. After the FAA issued the actual AD mandating an inspection, more aircraft were found with cracked spars including some 112 models. The COG worked closely with the FAA to gather more information about this condition and to develop reasonable inspection methods and hopefully a terminating action.
The initial AD required removing the elevator end rib to inspect the hinge area - a costly and potentially damaging procedure. In April 2011, the COG was granted an Alternate Method of Compliance (AMOC) to make the inspections to comply with the AD. Our AMOC permits us the use of a borescope and dye penetrent (if needed) to inspect the suspect area. No disassembly of riveted compontents is required.
We recognized at that time that a follow up AD was likely and would probably contain a requirement for repetitive inspections. Our work with the FAA resulted in our AMOC being approved for repetitive inspections under the follow up AD published in February 2012 and effective March 15, 2012.
At this point in time (March 2012), every legally flying Commander should have complied with the initial AD. If some for reason you haven't, please follow the instructions below in the section titled Initial Compliance.
If you have already complied with the initial AD, you are now in a recurring inspection mode. Permission for use of the AMOC we developed is granted to all COG members. The visual inspection in the AMOC should not take your mechanic more than an hour to accomplish and does not require any drilling or invasive procedures.
Update (4/2020): A complete replacement spar kit that eliminates the recurring inspection requirement for this AD is now available from Sterling Aviation Technologies. https://www.sterlingaviationtech.com/
Replacement PMA'd spars and upgraded hinges are available from Aerodyme: http://www.aerodyme.com/ (Note that the replacement PMA spars are still subject to the recurring inspection requirements of the AD)
A repair kit for cracked spars is available from Harrison Aero: http://www.harrisonaero.com/Commander_STC.html (Note that this kit does not eliminate the recurring inspection requirements of the AD)
If you have not already complied with AD 2011-03-02 (now superceded by 2012-02-10):
Elevator Spar Inspection Guide and Report (200K) Requires Adobe Acrobat
As we gather data we'll make it available in the forums on a periodic basis. Thanks in advance for helping your fellow owners!