Feb. 27, 2004 - Twin Cessna owners will soon have an opportunity to tell the FAA what they think about two very expensive airworthiness directives the agency has proposed. The agency will hold two days of meetings next week on ADs that could cost owners more than the aircraft is worth and take years to comply with. AOPA and the Cessna Pilots Association had pressed the FAA to give owners a chance to be heard.
The meetings will be held March 3 and 4, 2004, at the Hilton Hotel, Washington Dulles Airport, 13869 Park Center Road, Herndon, Virginia 20171. The meetings start at 9 a.m. both days. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. on the first day of the meeting.
The ADs, based on theoretical modeling done by Cessna, would require owners of Cessna models 401, 401A, 401B, 402, 402A, 402B, 402C, 411, 411A, and 414A to install an expensive spar strap modification and complete repetitive spar inspections. AOPA believes the FAA has no factual data to back up the theory, but the agency has so far refused to reveal any data that might support a safety issue.
AOPA estimates the cost of compliance to be $70,000 per aircraft - more than many of these models are worth. There are also fewer than half a dozen shops capable of performing the necessary work, meaning it could be years before all of the affected models could be brought into compliance.
"AOPA is pleased that the FAA is holding these meetings," said AOPA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Melissa Bailey. "Likewise, the FAA must make the supporting safety and engineering data available for analysis."
AOPA urges owners either to attend the meetings or file formal comments before the extended comment period ends on April 5, 2004.
Comments may be mailed to FAA, Central Region, Office of the Regional Counsel, Attention: Rules Docket No. 2002-CE-05-AD and Docket No. 2002-CE-57-AD, 901 Locust, Room 506, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. You may also send comments electronically to: [email protected]. Comments sent electronically must contain "Docket No. 2002-CE-05-AD and Docket No. 2002-CE-57-AD" in the subject line.