FAA seeks to update DA40 main-spar AD

April 15, 2014

The FAA has proposed a new airworthiness directive that would supersede an AD issued in 2013 requiring modification of the aft main spar in the cabin area of some Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH DA40 and DA40F airplanes.

The proposed AD would change an incorrect compliance time given in the existing AD for inspections related to the spar modification. Structural fatigue testing had shown that the measures were necessary to ensure the structural integrity of the airplane.

Members may submit comments on the proposed AD until May 29 as provided below.

The FAA explained in its notice of proposed rulemaking that "inspections required by AD 2013-24-13 are tied to calendar time and the Major Structural Inspection (MSI) identified in Chapter 5 of the airplane maintenance manual." The provision mirrored "the mandatory continuing airworthiness information issued by the State of Design for these products.

"However, U.S. operators are not required to comply with the requirement to inspect before the next MSI since the Limitations in Chapter 4" of the maintenance manual "are mandatory and the MSI in Chapter 5 of the AMM is not mandatory." Instead, the superseding AD proposes to tie compliance to the time-in-service of airplanes subject to the AD.

The FAA estimates that the proposed AD will affect 747 products of U.S. registry, and cost $610 per product.

Members may submit comments online or by mail by May 29 to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Please include "Docket No. FAA-2014-0226; Directorate Identifier 2014-CE-009-AD" at the beginning of your comments.