In March 1999 the FAA issued AD 99-05-13 mandating the installation of a placard on the fuel selector valve of various model Raytheon Beechcraft airplanes. According to the FAA, the mandatory placard is to be installed "to warn pilots of the no-flow condition that exists between the fuel tank detents" and is the result of reports of engine stoppage due to improperly positioned fuel selector valves.
A large number of AOPA members own aircraft affected by this AD. The required placard is being provided by Raytheon at no cost and installation can be performed by the aircraft owner. However, mandatory installation of placards containing operational information, rather than emergency information, can potentially degrade the safety of flight.
AOPA has always held that the military doctrine regarding the use of placards should be imposed on the FAA. If placards continue to be applied to every error a pilot can make, critical emergency information will become lost in the muddle of general operating information. The placards will eventually become meaningless. AOPA holds that a pilot's failure to properly position the fuel selector valve is an operational concern rather than an airworthiness issue. Operational concerns such as this are more appropriately addressed by including supplementary information in the POH or AFM. Consequently, AOPA recommends that AD 99-05-13 be rescinded.
Rescission of AD 99-05-13, July 12, 2000 (requires Adobe Reader)
NPRM 98-CE-61-AD, August 2, 1999
AOPA letter to FAA Wichita ACO, May 4, 1999
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