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 movement to exempt thousands of general aviation pilots from the third class medical certification process is gaining momentum in Congress and the aviation community.
The recent warrantless stops and searches of law-abiding pilots on general aviation flights have drawn the attention of mainstream media.
The National Aeronautic Association has awarded the Collier Trophy for “the first unmanned, autonomous air system operating from an aircraft carrier.”
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