July 28, 2010
AOPA ePublishing staff
An airworthiness directive (AD) requiring the inspection and possible replacement of the pilot and copilot control wheel shafts on the Piper PA-28, PA-32, PA-34, and PA-44 could affect nearly 42,000 airplanes.
AOPA had filed formal comments in January opposing the AD, stating that the FAA needed to refine the number of aircraft that would be impacted because the amount of work and cost involved would place a burden on aircraft owners. AOPA members and Piper aircraft owners told the association that the disassembly and inspection of the control wheel shaft could take several hours and possibly damage the part in the process. The association pointed out that failure of the control wheel shaft in these aircraft has been rare.
While the FAA did not address most of AOPA’s concerns, it did offer a credit to those who had complied with an earlier service bulletin that encouraged the same action. The agency also adopted the recommendation from AOPA and aircraft owners to change the compliance date to the next 100-hours time in service or 12 months, whichever occurs first. The AD will go into effect Aug. 31.
MVP Aero is developing a $189,000 light sport amphibious seaplane that doubles as a camper and is expected to fly in 18 months, with deliveries in 2017.
The FAA will miss a deadline to reform aircraft certification by two years, the agency told the House Aviation Subcommittee during a July 23 hearing.
AOPA is testing whether aircraft ownership can be more affordable than many people believe with the development of “Reimagined Aircraft.”
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