On January 19, 2000 the FAA published AD-2000-01-16, a final rule airworthiness directive (AD) affecting exhaust systems on turbocharged twin Cessna airplanes. The FAA originally proposed the AD on July 6 of last year as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM 97-CE-67-AD). The proposed AD required costly repetitive inspections of the exhaust system on turbocharged twin Cessna models T310 to 421C (except 337). The FAA cited several incidents/accidents in which cracks and corrosion caused exhaust system failure, uncontrollable in-flight fire, and in some cases, pilot and passenger injury.
According to the FAA, the AD affects approximately 6,500 turbocharged Cessna twins. To detect and correct cracks and corrosion on exhaust system components, the AD requires a series of repetitive inspections, replacement of unserviceable parts, and removal of the exhaust system for detailed inspections at engine overhaul. The FAA estimates that it will cost each affected aircraft owner nearly $4,400 to complete the required initial inspections. Although these figures fail to take into account the cost of complying with required repetitive inspections and associated parts repairs or replacements, the FAA has substantially reduced the compliance cost of the AD.
AOPA agrees that, in this particular situation, the potential for uncontrollable in-flight fire or in-flight structural wing failure warrants airworthiness action. AOPA thanks the FAA for affording the public an opportunity to comment on the provisions of the AD. The quality of public comments in response to the proposed AD are shining examples of how the real world knowledge and expertise of ownerï¿½s organizations, aircraft type-clubs, mechanics, and aircraft operators can result in practical and affordable alternatives to draconian AD actions. Although the FAA considered user comments, implemented an alternative means of compliance and significantly reduced the economic impact of this AD, AOPA feels that the agency has discounted the importance of a fair and complete economic analysis. In the future, AOPA hopes and expects that the FAA will more carefully consider the full economic impact of proposed AD actions.
AOPA analyzed the provisions of AD-2000-01-16 and submitted comments to the FAA on April 13, 2000. AOPA is awaiting a formal response from the FAA.
AOPA final comments to final rule AD 2000-01-16, April 13, 2000
Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin CE-00-16 (requires Adobe Reader)
Preliminary AOPA analysis of AD 2000-01-16, January 20, 2000
Compliance schedule ï¿½ AD 2000-01-16, January 20, 2000
AD 2000-01-16, January 19, 2000 (requires Adobe Reader)
AOPA comments to 97-CE-67-AD, August 6, 1999
AOPA letter to affected aircraft owners, July 9, 1999 (requires Adobe Reader)
FAA AD proposal, 97-CE-67-AD, July 6, 1999 (requires Adobe Reader)
AOPA press release, 99-2-071, June 25, 1999
Letter from AOPA President Phil Boyer to FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, June 24, 1999
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.