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Airworthiness directive targets Bonanza v-clampsAirworthiness directive targets Bonanza v-clamps

The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive (AD) affecting several of Textron Aviation’s Beechcraft Bonanza models, limiting the life of an exhaust-pipe v-band coupling and requiring repetitive inspections of the part.

Example of a Bonanza affected by the airworthiness directive. Photo courtesy of the American Bonanza Society.

The AD, which takes effect May 3, applies to many A36TC, B36TC, S35, V35, V35A, and V35B airplanes. It was issued in response to a fatal accident in which the exhaust tailpipe fell off an aircraft during takeoff, the FAA said.

The v-band coupling must be repetitively replaced at intervals not to exceed 500 hours time in service after the initial replacement—the timing of which depends on whether the time-in-service of the existing coupling can be determined.

A visual inspection of the installed exhaust tailpipe coupling must be performed at the next annual inspection after the AD takes effect, or within the next 12 months, whichever occurs later, and must occur repetitively thereafter at intervals not to exceed 12 months, as detailed in the AD.

The FAA said the AD affects 731 airplanes. Estimated costs include $42.50 to perform the inspection, and $470 to replace the coupling. 

The American Bonanza Society’s Air Safety Foundation submitted formal comments supporting the AD and noted that its maintenance advisers “agree with the need for turbocharger exhaust clamp life limits based on their experience in the field.”

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Aircraft Regulation, FAA Information and Services, Ownership

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