FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS > STC Applicability > Q: When I compare my Cessna's serial number with your list, it suggests mine is a 1972 model. But the FAA registration database says it's a 1971. Which is correct?

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Q:  When I compare my Cessna's serial number with your list, it suggests mine is a 1972 model. But the FAA registration database says it's a 1971.  Which is correct?

A:  Our database is correct.  First of all, there is no such thing as a 1971 Cessna 182P - that would be a Cessna 182N model. This discrepancy is common and affects a small percentage of all the 182P and 182Q airplanes built late in the previous or early in any given year. It happens because the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch uses the date on the manufacturer's Application for Airworthiness (FAA Form 8130-6) as the model year.  For certification (and therefore conformity to the Type Certificate, systems changes, etc.), the serial numbers eligibility list found on the airplanes' Type Certificate Data sheet (TCDS 3A13 in the case of the 182 series) defines the actual model year.

As production continued throughout any year, the airworthiness applications began to reflect the current correct year and the discrepancy disappeared. The TCDS eligibility grouping of model years by serial number, regardless of any actual manufacturing date, should always be used for certifications, comparisons, and reference in any airplane buying or selling activities.