June 1, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive (AD) on Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH Model DA42 twin-engine airplanes, requiring replacement of aluminum main landing gear joints with steel joints. The AD supersedes a previous directive that called for inspection of the main landing gear joints for cracking.
The FAA published its intention to enact the AD in the March 16 edition of the Federal Register. The FAA said in the filing that cracks had reportedly been found during standard maintenance on main landing gear damper-to-trailing arm joints--a condition that could lead to failure of the main landing gear depending on environmental, operating, or runway conditions.
The AD was issued following the FAA’s evaluation of mandatory continuing airworthiness information issued in February by the European Aviation Safety Agency that detailed the unsafe condition.
The FAA estimates that the AD, which takes effect July 6, will affect 162 aircraft of U.S. registry at an estimated cost of $814 per aircraft.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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