A SumpThis General Aviation Timeline

 

 


 

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Year

 

Undetermined

 

On March 27, 1999, Scovill flew his aircraft with no abnormalities.

1999

NTSB records indicate that 112 undetermined engine failures occurred in 1999.

 

 

 


 

On April 5, 1999, with one passenger onboard, Scovill at 5500 feet under radar contact flew a wide circle overhead the City of Nashville, Tennessee. Later in the flight, while returning to home base and in a descent to around three thousand feet in preparation for landing, the aircraft's engine ran very rough, shuddered and quit--another total engine failure. Scovill made a dead-stick landing at an alternate airport.

1999

 

 

 

 

 




 

On April 19, 1999, Scovill delivered a letter to the FAA's Nashville Flight Standards District Office. The letter alerts the FAA of suspected problems with Cessna Aircraft Company's integral wing tanks.

1999
1999

After Scovill submitted his letter in April, the FAA performed inspections on Scovill's aircraft on May 19, 1999 and May 21, 1999. On June 2, 1999, Bill Allen, Facilities Manager for Middle Tennessee State University Aerospace, submitted a report that explains how the FAA inspections on Scovill's aircraft were performed, list data that were recorded, and comments on observations that were made.

On July 23, 1999, based on the results of the inspections performed on Scovill's aircraft, FAA Inspector Craig Roberts, ASI Nashville FSDO, submitted safety recommendations to AAI-200 in Washington DC.

1999
1999

On July 28, 1999, Recommendation and Analysis Division, AAI-200 assigned numbers 99.283 and 99.284 to FAA Inspector Craig Robert's safety recommendations.

On August 18, 1999, FAA Inspector Craig Roberts informed Scovill by letter that inspection results obtained from experiments performed on Scovill's aircraft were sent to FAA offices in Washington DC and Wichita, Kansas.

1999
1999

Nearing the end of August 1999, the FAA has not made a determination of its findings regarding safety recommendations 99.283 and 99.284. At this time, Scovill's aircraft's annual inspection becomes due. Mark Cobb of Fayetteville Aviation, Inc. states in his August 24, 1999 letter that he cannot perform the aircraft's annual inspection due to the existing problem with its integral wing tanks.

 

Proof please!

 

On September 29, 1999, FAA Associate ACO, Manager, Airframe and Services, ACE118W notified Manager, Recommendation & Quality Assurance Division, AAI-200 in Washington DC by  memorandum that ACE118W has considered safety recommendations 99.283 and 99.284 and requested Cessna Aircraft Company to respond with proof of regulatory compliance.

1999
1999

Steve Brooks, Manager; Technical Information Service for Cessna Aircraft Company, was made aware that test results indicate a high probability that Cessna's integral wing tank design is flawed. Brooks sent a Cessna mechanic to inspect Scovill's aircraft. After this inspection (and after several phone conversations), Brooks replied with a letter addressed to Scovill dated October 4, 1999.

In his letter, Brooks states, "The fuel tank drains should be utilized to de-fuel the aircraft.
If during this cleaning
/inspection of the fuel system that any large pockets of fluid remaining in the tanks are discovered these retention areas must be identified and a cause determined i.e. sealant blocking 'weep holes', etc. and appropriate maintenance action taken to disposition noted discrepancies."

Oddly, Brooks omits in his letter the fact that safety recommendations 99.283 and 99.284 were discussed with Cessna Aircraft Company. These safety recommendations are based on tests that found pockets of fluid remaining in Scovill's integral wing tanks. And the discovered retention areas were  identified. Scovill had already taken appropriate maintenance action to disposition noted discrepancies by notifying the FAA and Cessna Aircraft Company.

However, Brooks does state that "retention areas must be identified and a cause determined i.e. sealant blocking 'weep holes', etc.," but he omitted from his list of causes an explicit reference to "an apparent Manufacturer design flaw": "i.e. sealant blocking 'weep holes', [an apparent Manufacturer design flaw], etc."

It's not clear to SumpThis "Why Cessna Aircraft Company in its letter to Scovill ignores safety recommendations
99.283 and 99.284"



Here's proof. What's the problem

On October 20, 1999, Cessna Aircraft Company responded by letter to the FAA about safety recommendations 99.283 and 99.284: Cessna 172P Integral Fuel Tanks.

1999

 

1999

On October 21, 1999, Matt Taylor, Director of Maintenance, Middle Tennessee State University, Flight Operations Maintenance, informs Scovill by letter about inspection results from Taylor's inspection of MTSU's Cessna 172RG that is equipped with Cessna Aircraft Company's integral wing fuel tanks. Taylor's results are similar to those discussed in Bill Allen's June 2, 1999 report.

 

 

 

On December 10, 1999, Scovill submitted a letter to the President of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to discuss the proposed solution for its fleet of Cessna 172 model aircraft's hesitating engine problem. Scovill learned of the problem and proposed solution through news articles. Correspondence between ERAU and the FAA on this topic appears on the timeline in the year 2000 in January and February. 

1999

 

 

 

1999

In December 1999, RAND published MR-1122/1-ICJ Safety in the Skies: Personnel and Parties in NTSB Aviation Accident Investigations: Master Volume. L. Sarsfield, W. L. Stanley, C. C. Lebow, E. Ettedgui, G. Henning. 2000. The link goes to RAND's web-site from which you may download the above book's summary in PDF format, or purchase the hardback book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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