On January 8, 2003, the FAA issued a direct final rule airworthiness directive (AD) mandating replacement of certain Hartzell aluminum propeller hub assemblies. The AD affects more than 200 propellers, and applies to many of the most popular general aviation airplanes.
The AD requires replacement of defective aluminum propeller hub assemblies with 50 or 100 hours time-in-service (TIS) depending upon aircraft model. Hartzell has agreed to extend full parts and labor warranty coverage for the AD mandated hub replacements, and reports that they have an ample supply of replacement parts in stock.
AOPA agrees, that in this particular situation, the possibility for development of fatigue cracks, and possible subsequent in-flight propeller blade separation warrants airworthiness action. AOPA is please that Hartzell has taken care to fully identify the affected population of defective parts to minimize the number of aircraft affected by the AD, has produced and stocked an adequate supply of replacement parts to minimize aircraft downtime for affected owners, and has extended full parts and labor warranty coverage for the AD mandated replacements.
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