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Wing comes off a PA28 during a checkride with an examiner (and wing spar structure discussion)

Avweb article

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I sometimes charter an Arrow PA28-200-R and an Archer II.
I read about how the FAA uses the number of 100h inspections via some formula to establish wether a spar inspection will be mandatory or not.
Should there be any concern to fly PA28s for me? I’m thinking that the typical rental plane will undergo quite some abuse which might be detrimental to the spar.

EASA CB IR Training

Snoopy wrote:

Should there be any concern to fly PA28s for me?

I doubt it. If you look at the figures in the report, that airplane had 33,276 (!!!) landing cycles, 4.33 per hour ! I don’t think you’d see these figure outside the high-intensity training environment in places like FL.

Thanks. So given that this was an isolated event and is not happening to Pa28s every other week the probability is high that the cause of the spar malfunction was due to the amount of landings accumulated on this airframe.

Or could it be that only 100 very hard ones out of the 30000 plus landings could cause the spar to break?

EASA CB IR Training

A PA28 I’m flying often has over 10k hours and the other one over 14k hours. They both average around 3 landings per hour. It doesn’t sound much better than the accident aircraft… I’m getting worried and people don’t seem to take this occurrence serious enough. I hope the FAA issues a mandatory AD.


My PA28 with nearly 10,000 hours passed the NDT of the outer bolts. The wing spar and all attachments are all in fantastic condition.

I would not worry too much, there are other risks which are far more important/real.

United Kingdom

As well as the number of landings/hours flown equation that the FAA produced, they did suggest that if one didn’t know the complete history of the wings one should have them tested.
Because of this, I had the spars checked on my PA28 – N2CL at the last Annual and was given the All Clear.

Rochester, UK, United Kingdom
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