BizAv's AD Watch

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Cessna 400-Series Autopilots

The FAA has extended its comment period by one month for two proposed Airworthiness Directives that would require a wing-spar modification for several models of Cessna twin-engine aircraft. Comments can now be submitted on or before September 8, 2003. Click here to view the proposed AD affecting Models 402C and 414A, and click here for the proposed AD affecting Models 401, 401A, 401B, 402, 402A, 402B, 411, and 411A. Plus, Notices of Proposed Rulemaking have been issued for Cessna models including 172s, 182s, and 206 to address inadvertent and undetected engagement of the Honeywell KAP 140 autopilot system (click here for details). Inboard forward flap bellcranks on Cessna Models 208 and 208B airplanes have also achieved new regulatory attention.

Lear 45s Grounded By Tail Problems

"During our investigation of the problem, we determined that the configuration and quality controls over the production of these parts were so deficient that we do not have confidence that the airplane can be operated safely for any period of time," a new Airworthiness Directive states. The FAA, last week, grounded 222 Learjet Model 45 business jets until their horizontal stabilizer actuator assemblies are replaced. The new AD issued last Wednesday supersedes an earlier one that called for inspection of the assembly. At the heart of the problem is a screw-and-nut assembly that can get brittle and fail. New parts are expected to be available soon. The original AD was issued after a report of a severe vibration, followed by a rapid nose-down pitch change, by the pilot of one of the eight-seat bizjets. While the tail problems are being tended to, Lear 45 owners might want to take care of another AD concerning the landing gear. New shear pins must be installed in the trunnion assemblies of the main landing gear to prevent a possible gear failure. The AD became effective August 27.