Regulatory Brief -- FAA issues AD mandating replacement of Aerostar scavenge pumps

Regulatory Brief

FAA issues AD mandating replacement of Aerostar scavenge pumps

The issue:

On December 4, 2002 the FAA published final AD 2002-24-07. The airworthiness directive (AD) mandates replacement of Roto-Master and RAJAY scavenge pumps installed on PA-60-601, PA-60-601P, PA-60-602P, and PA-60-700P airplanes. The FAA states that the proposed AD is intended to prevent failure of oil scavenge pumps and end plates which could result in loss of engine oil and possible loss of engine power.

The importance to our members:

The proposed AD affects approximately 650 airplanes in the US registry, at a cost of nearly $5,500 per airplane. The proposed AD mandates compliance within 50 hours time-in-service (TIS) after the effective date of the AD. AOPA has serious concerns over lack of data substantiating the need for mandatory pump replacements.

Significant provisions:

  • The AD affects Aerostar models PA-60-601, PA-60-601P, PA-60-602P, and PA-60-700P and requires, within 50 hours TIS, replacement of Roto-Master and RAJAY scavenge pumps with Aerostar scavenge pumps.
  • FAA estimates that parts and labor to complete the pump replacements will cost approximately $5,500 per airplane.
  • The FAA cites "several reports of excessive internal pump wear" as cause for airworthiness action
  • A search of the FAA Service Difficulty Report (SDR) database revealed no reports of worn, damaged, or failed Roto-Master or RAJAY scavenge pumps.
  • A survey of Aerostar owners/operators (conducted by the Aerostar Owners Association) revealed that in-service scavenge pumps average approximately 2253 hours TIS. None of the respondents reported any instances of worn, damaged, or failed scavenge pumps.
  • Consolidated Fuel Systems (the original equipment manufacturer of Roto-Master/RAJAY scavenge pumps) opposed the AD stating that " not a single unit has ever been returned for premature wear or 'failure' of the end plate."
  • The FAA's four cited instances of scavenge pump wear (all submitted by Aerostar) all resulted from routine maintenance and inspections.
  • AOPA was unable to locate any reports of actual failures of scavenge pumps installed on Aerostar airplanes.

AOPA position:

Based on the high TIS of Aerostar oil scavenge pumps and the lack of adverse scavenge pump maintenance history, the lack of FAA service difficulty reports, and lack of OEM data substantiating a service issue with the suspect scavenge pumps, AOPA fails to see any justification for mandatory replacement of Roto-Master/RAJAY scavenge pumps installed on Aerostar airplanes. Given that all four reported instances of worn scavenge pump end plates resulted from routine maintenance and inspections, AOPA believes that annual/100-hour inspections adequately detect unusually worn or damaged scavenge pumps. Thus, AOPA opposes the AD's proposed mandatory replacement of scavenge pumps on Aerostar airplanes. AOPA believes the FAA can best mitigate this concern through the issuance of a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) highlighting the need to inspect for unusual wear or damage to scavenge pumps and endplates during regularly scheduled maintenance.

Status:

  • On December 4, 2002 FAA published final AD 2002-24-07
  • On January 2, 2002 AOPA submitted comments to proposed AD 99-CE-86-AD
  • On October 24, 2001 FAA published proposed AD 99-CE-86-AD

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