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Thread: met-co-aire tricycle conversion

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    met-co-aire tricycle conversion

    i am a mechanic in canada involved in an import of a cessna 170b from the U.S. the owner of this machine bought it without making sure all the appropriate paperwork was with it. after numerous hoop jumping sessions with transport canada we are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. this plane had the tri gear installed on it in 1956. because of missing paperwork there is no record of it being converted back to its current tail dragger status. i have a copy of the origional drawings but there is reference on them as to what should be done when converting it back to taildragger. if any of you owners have converted them back what was the procedure . i find it hard to believe that faa would require owners to remove all of the structure involved inthe origional installation . if i cant get any insight to my current obsticle transport canada will likely tell me to remove the floor and bring every thing back to origonal. this would be a big job as opposed to a simple change to the weight and balance report. hope someone has some guidance . thankyou

  2. #2
    Mike Busch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Arroyo Grande, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by mechanic View Post
    i have a copy of the origional drawings but there is reference on them as to what should be done when converting it back to taildragger.
    Did you mean to say that there is NO reference on them as to what should be done when converting it back to a taildragger?

    The trike conversion is clearly a major alteration. Therefore, returning the aircraft to its original condition is by definition a major alteration. A major alternation requires approved data. The STC provides approved data for the trike conversion. The original Cessna 170B type design provides the approved data for the taildragger configuration. I cannot see how you could legally return the aircraft to taildragger configuration without restoring it to its original design, unless a field approval was obtained for leaving the modified support structure intact.

    I assume Transport Canada must have something equivalent to the FAA's field approval process. Have you discussed this possibility with TC?
    Michael D. Busch A&P/IA CFIA/I/ME
    President, Savvy Aviator, Inc.
    President, Savvy Aircraft Maintenance Management, Inc.
    2008 National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Michigan A&P

    Very interesting subject. During late '59 and early 60's my boss purchased 10 of the Met-Co-Aire Cessna 120/140 conversions. Ten at a time came with a generous trade discount. It was my job to do the installations. We started by making tools and simple jigs to make the installations faster and easier in the future. My boss was a very happy man, as this venture made a good profit for the Company.

    It was bound to happen. Like with any tricycle gear aircraft, a student pilot landed hard on the nose wheel, deforming the nosegear/motor mount, on one of our original Cessna 140 conversions. No prop strike. With tail wheel assembly and hardware in hand I was flown to the distressed aircraft. Removed nose gear assembly, repositioned main gear legs in original position and installed tail wheel asssembly and flew the aircraft back to the shop.

    We did undo some of the conversions. I am positive we never did a reverse 337. We did do a log book entry and corrected W&B to account for the extra gear box and motor mount remaining in the aircraft.

    My question, if I remove a previously 337 approved avionics (altered/reinforcing structure) stack and replace it with one nav-com, do I need a 337?

    The original question posed today, with the many different FAA districts and even between different FSDO's, will probably receive conflicting answers.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    i have gotten ahold of faa in oklahoma and they are sending me what they have concerning the aircrafts records when it was in the u.s. by rights according to another faa inspector out of fargo there should have been a 337 filed when the aircraft was converted back to taildragger. if this record exists then transport will accept that . if it doesnt then i would imagine transport will make us gut the existing conversion kit and bring the plane back to origional configuration. this will mean that proper serial numbers for the landing gear will have to be verified as well ,along with the tailwheel.

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