August 21, 2013
By AOPA ePublishing staff
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive requiring inspections of elevator balance weights, and replacement of those found defective, on some Beechcraft model 58, 95-C55, E55, and 56TC, and Hawker Beechcraft model 58P and 58TC twin-engine airplanes.
The action was initiated in response to reports of elevator balance weights "becoming loose or failing because the balance weight material was under strength and did not meet material specifications," the FAA said in a notice published Aug. 20.
Requirements of the airworthiness directive, which takes effect Sept. 24, apply to affected aircraft as detailed by serial numbers.
Left uncorrected, the unsafe condition that prompted the AD "could result in reduced flutter speed and lead to loss of control," the FAA said.
Approximately 1,326 airplanes of U.S. registry will be affected, said the agency, estimating the cost of compliance at $42.50 for the inspection and an additional $385 for an elevator balance weight replacement (including the estimated $300 cost of the part).
The AOPA Medical Advisory Board is the latest group to urge quick action on the proposed FAA rule that would allow thousands more pilots to fly without the need for a third class medical certificate.
The Perlan Project is less than a year away from the first flight of a glider being built to ride waves near the edge of space. While construction continues in Oregon, the team’s pilots are staying proficient in more ordinary aircraft.
A new air traffic control tower is slated to open at Houston Executive Airport Oct. 1.
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