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Old 9th Dec 2012, 18:34   #1 (permalink)
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bexleyheath
Posts: 27
PA38 Wing Spar Life

Whats the definitive answer regarding Wing Spar life on a PA38 Tomahawk ?
My understanding is that they had some corrosion issues and required a Boroscope inspection. That, (assuming this inspection was OK) they were lifed at 11000 hours total time but this could be extended by 7660 hours if a modification to the Wing Spar (Caps) was done.

Replies for CAA/ EASA land only please as I am based in the UK.

Thanks in advance,

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Old 9th Dec 2012, 19:57   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 619
The definitive answer is to be found in the Piper PA38-112 Maintenance Manual Chapter 4 - Airworthiness Limitations, Table 401. It is also stated in the FAA Type Certificate Data Sheet for the aircraft.

It states that the 'Wing and Associated Structure' has a life of 11,000 flight hours - all airframe serial numbers.

Airworthiness Limitations (and Airworthiness Directives) are mandatory in the UK/EASA.

The 'associated structure' is the carry though stucture in the fuselage to which the wing attaches as far as I know.

There were various wing spar extension options offered by third party companies such as:

Sterling Aviation Technologies :: Wing Life Extension

They claim that it is EASA approved so you may be okay. The cost of the kit plus the labour to install it may prove it to be financially not viable.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 18:34   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cilboldentune, Britannia
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There also appears to be a problem with the nosewheel oleo - not sure of the details - may be you need to research this. I understand that parts are not readily available.
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Old 11th Dec 2012, 16:17   #4 (permalink)
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bexleyheath
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Thanks for the info.


Interestingly, the Aircraft I am looking at is waiting for a damaged Nosewheel assembly to be repaired, so spares may well be an issue.


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Old 28th Sep 2013, 13:49   #5 (permalink)

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Tomahawk Wing Life

My mechanic informed me that the wing life is 11,000 hrs but there is now an stc modification. There is a spar strap that can be install in the wing that will extend the life of the wing up to 18,000 hrs. in the U.S. I'm not sure how they look at this in the U.K.
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