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).
Pilots and aircraft owners have volunteered to transport hundreds of sea turtles rescued in Massachusetts to facilities equipped to care for them.
The FAA is working to automate a contingency plan developed on the fly when Chicago Center was taken out by arson from within Sept. 26.
AOPA has urged College Park, Maryland, to make approval of a hotel construction project near the city airport conditional on reducing the building’s height.
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