January 10, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
The FAA has issued five special airworthiness information bulletins (SAIBs) to address potential corrosion problems on a variety of Piper aircraft.
Each SAIB highlighted specific problem areas on the Pipers, but all the bulletins urged owners and operators to “increase their focus on inspections” provided in the aircraft service manuals.
The new SAIBs address the following Piper aircraft corrosion risks:
The average aircraft in the general aviation fleet is 30 years old—but age alone does not tell the story of an aircraft’s susceptibility to corrosion or other problems. Each aircraft’s condition depends on numerous factors including how it is used, stored, and maintained.
The Air Safety Institute offers an Aging Aircraft interactive course that reviews maintenance and ownership strategies for keeping older aircraft flying, shows examples of problems such as different kinds of corrosion and metal fatigue, and discusses the general effects of aging on aircraft. Significant input from the FAA’s Small Airplane Directorate and industry type clubs was used to develop several manufacturer-specific tracks for most common makes of aircraft.
SAIBs are not mandatory, but are issued by the FAA in response to reported service data, and offer valuable guidance on aircraft care to owners and operators.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor.
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