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 FAA needs to be more efficient and complete critical projects, House leaders said during a hearing on FAA reauthorization.
Bell Helicopter put a new engine in its 407, got a larger payload, and upgraded avionics. It attracted a new customer.
The FAA is asking for help on the thirty-seventh annual General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey covering calendar year 2014.
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