On November 15, 2001, the FAA issued a final rule AD that supersedes previously issued AD 80-04-08 and requires repetitive inspection of map light switches and fuel lines installed on certain Cessna 172 airplanes. The AD requires a one-time inspection for presence and proper condition of the map light switch insulator. The AD, intended to prevent fuel leaks, electrical arcing, and potential in-flight fire, also requires repetitive inspection/replacement of the map light switch cover and replacement of chafed or otherwise damaged fuel lines.
The AD affects an estimated 7,750 U.S. registered airplanes. The FAA estimates that initial inspections will cost $60/per airplane (1 hr. labor @ $60). Replacement map light switch covers cost approximately $6 plus labor, and replacement fuel lines (if necessary) cost between $26 and $129 plus labor.
AOPA agrees that, in this particular situation, the potential for chafing between the map light switch and the fuel line, subsequent fuel leakage and/or electrical arcing and possible in-flight fire warrants airworthiness concern. In-flight fire is undoubtedly a circumstance no pilot wishes to face. AOPA feels that this particular circumstance does warrant airworthiness action. Thus, AOPA agrees with FAA that affected aircraft should undergo inspection for installation and proper condition of the map light switch insulator, proper spacing between the fuel line and map light switch, and evidence of electrical arcing/damage to the fuel line.
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