Airworthiness bulletins stress Piper corrosion inspections
The FAA has issued five special airworthiness information bulletins (SAIBs) to address potential corrosion problems on a variety of Piper aircraft.
Each SAIB highlighted specific problem areas on the Pipers, but all the bulletins urged owners and operators to “increase their focus on inspections” provided in the aircraft service manuals.
The new SAIBs address the following Piper aircraft corrosion risks:
- PA-28, PA-32, PA-34, and PA-44 models: potential corrosion on the flap hinge and flap ribs.
- PA-28, PA-32 and PA-34 models: potential corrosion on the aileron at the hinge fitting.
- PA-28, PA-32, PA-34, and PA-44 models: potential corrosion on the wing rear spar at the fuselage attach fitting.
- PA-32 and PA-34 models: potential corrosion on the wing front spar at the fuselage attach fitting, at the landing gear attach point, and behind the leading edge fuel tank.
- PA-28, PA-32, and PA-34 models: potential corrosion on the vertical stabilizer forward attach point.
The average aircraft in the general aviation fleet is 30 years old—but age alone does not tell the story of an aircraft’s susceptibility to corrosion or other problems. Each aircraft’s condition depends on numerous factors including how it is used, stored, and maintained.
The Air Safety Institute offers an Aging Aircraft interactive course that reviews maintenance and ownership strategies for keeping older aircraft flying, shows examples of problems such as different kinds of corrosion and metal fatigue, and discusses the general effects of aging on aircraft. Significant input from the FAA’s Small Airplane Directorate and industry type clubs was used to develop several manufacturer-specific tracks for most common makes of aircraft.
SAIBs are not mandatory, but are issued by the FAA in response to reported service data, and offer valuable guidance on aircraft care to owners and operators.
January 10, 2011