Following an AOPA petition, the Federal Aviation Administration has withdrawn the airworthiness directive calling for a new placard on the fuel selectors in many Beech aircraft.
On July 12, the FAA rescinded AD 99-05-13, which would have required the installation of a warning placard on the fuel tank selector of nearly every piston-engine Beech (now Raytheon) aircraft ever built.
"Upon reflection, the FAA agreed with the AOPA position that placards should be limited to emergency, not operational, information," said Dennis Roberts, AOPA vice president of government and technical affairs.
"If you create a placard for every possible pilot error, critical emergency information becomes lost in the muddle of general operating information posted around the cockpit."
The AD would have required the installation of a placard "to warn pilots of the no-flow condition that exists between the fuel tank detents." The AD resulted from reports of engine stoppage after several pilots incorrectly positioned the fuel selector.
AOPA argued that positioning the fuel selector is an operational issue rather than an airworthiness concern. Normal operating procedures should be addressed in the aircraft flight manual or pilot's operating handbook.
"We believe that it is in the best interest of aviation safety to reserve placards solely for emergency information," AOPA said.
The FAA reconsidered the issue and agreed.
The 360,000-member Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is the world's largest civil aviation organization.
More than one half of the nation's pilots, and more than three quarters of U.S. aircraft owners, are AOPA members.
July 17, 2000