The FAA, acting on reports of chafed fuel-return lines in some Cessna 172R and 172S single-engine airplanes, has adopted an airworthiness directive (AD) requiring installation of some support hardware, inspection, and replacement of any damaged fuel-return line assemblies. The AD takes effect March 19.
The AD, affecting an estimated 80 U.S.-registered aircraft, was ordered after the FAA determined that chafing occurred with a new configuration of the fuel-return line assembly. The lines rubbed against the right steering tube assembly while rudder pedals were in use.
The AD requires owners to install forward and aft fuel return line support clamps and brackets; and inspect for minimum clearance between the fuel-return line assembly and the steering tube assembly, and for clearance between the fuel return line assembly and the airplane structure. If any damage is found, the fuel return line assembly must be replaced.
The required inspections and any necessary replacement must be accomplished at the next annual inspection after the effective date, or within 100 hours in service, or within 12 calendar months, whichever occurs later.
Owners should note that the new AD is a separate action, with a different scope, from an AD affecting Cessna 172R and Cessna 172S airplanes about which AOPA notified members in November 2012, said David Oord, AOPA manager of regulatory affairs.