On November 30, 1999, the FAA published final rule airworthiness directive (AD) 99-24-10, mandating repetitive inspections and repetitive flight testing of Precise Flight Model SVS III Standby Vacuum Systems. Citing the high cost of AD compliance AOPA petitioned the FAA to rescind the AD and reopen the public comment period. On December 20, 1999, AOPA petitioned the FAA to rescind AD 99-24-10 and reissue the proposed AD for public comment. On January 19, 2000, the FAA approved an alternate compliance method developed by Precise Flight.
This AD affects approximately 10,000 U.S. registered aircraft currently equipped with Precise Flight Model SVS III standby vacuum systems. Affected aircraft owners were alarmed by the repetitive cost of AD compliance, which, in some cases, may be higher than the cost of a brand new SVS III system. Most owners indicate that such high compliance costs may force them to remove these systems from their aircraft.
AOPA agrees that, in this particular situation, inspection of cables, lines, fittings, and valves of Precise Flight Model SVS III systems is an appropriate way to ensure proper continued operation of these systems. However, AOPA fails to see the merit in repeating a testing procedure designed to test the standby vacuum systemï¿½s operating parameters directly following its installation. AOPA maintains that the repetitive flight testing requirements of this AD are designed to address purely operational concerns. Operational concerns, such as this one, could be more effectively addressed in other non-regulatory arenas. Further, AOPA fears that the high cost of AD compliance may prompt most affected aircraft owners to remove these systems from their aircraft. To address these concerns, AOPA has requested that the FAA rescind AD 99-24-10 and reissue the proposed AD for public comment.
AOPA is pleased with the AMOC for Models III with shuttle valve serial numbers 10243 and higher. However, since the AMOC requires owners of certain systems to replace working shuttle valves, AOPA feels that the AMOC not sufficient. Therefore, AOPA will not withdraw its petition to rescind the AD.
Contrary to some reports, AOPA was not involved in the development of the alternate compliance procedure. In the future, AOPA urges Precise Flight and the FAA to include aircraft owners/operators in the development of alternative methods of AD compliance.
FAA final rule AD 99-24-10, November 30, 1999 (requires Adobe Reader)
AOPA rulemaking petition, December 20, 1999
For more information regarding the approved alternate compliance, go to: www.preciseflight.com/technical.html. (All the information provided in Web link requires Adobe Reader.)
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.