June 12, 2009
By Thomas B Haines
The FAA on June 9 granted certain Beechcraft Bonanza and Baron owners at least a temporary stay from a potentially grounding airworthiness directive (AD). The AD requires the replacement of many circuit breaker switches in many models of Bonanzas and Barons built since 1970 by August 6. However, the replacement circuit breaker switches are in short supply, and the few authorized manufacturers have not been able to meet demand.
The FAA crafted an alternative means of compliance (AMOC) in close cooperation with the American Bonanza Society (ABS) that allows unmodified airplanes to keep flying beyond the deadline as long as owners can show that the parts are ordered by August 6. All of the switches must be replaced within 90 days of receipt of the last of the ordered parts.
In order to take advantage of the AMOC, the owner must notify the principal inspector in the appropriate FAA flight standards district office or the FSDO itself. Additional details are available on the ABS Web site.
AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines joined AOPA in 1988. He owns and flies a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza. Since soloing at 16 and earning a private pilot certificate at 17, he has flown more than 100 models of general aviation airplanes.
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