The FAA has given pilots until Aug. 6 to replace circuit breaker switches in many Beech airplanes, and owners are urged to order replacement parts as soon as possible to avoid being grounded by a lack of parts availability.
The decision to require the switch replacements follows FAA review of an airworthiness directive (AD) issued in 2008 (AD 2008-13-17). The review was conducted at the request of the American Bonanza Society, which had hoped to limit the scope of the AD. AOPA also had filed comments on the AD, asking that it apply only to Barons. But the FAA determined that the AD will apply as originally issued, covering many Bonanza and Baron models, and Beech Model 77 Skippers. For a complete list of affected aircraft, see the AD.
Because of the limited availability of replacement circuit breaker switches, AOPA is urging members affected by the AD to purchase the replacement parts as soon as possible. Only Hawker Beechcraft RAPID-supplied parts are approved as replacements. RAPID had previously told the American Bonanza Society that breaker manufacturer Tyco Electronics will not ramp up production until it has received a significant number of orders.