No FAA Bonanza Cable AD

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The FAA has decided against issuing an airworthiness directive (AD) like those issued by Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Administration (CASA) last week grounding most Beech Bonanzas, Barons and Debonairs in the country. In a news release on Tuesday, American Bonanza Society President Tom Turner said that instead the FAA will issue a special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) that will serve to remind mechanics to inspect the full length of the elevator control cables at annual inspection. CASA ordered immediate inspection of elevator control cables in the entire fleet of Beech aircraft with single-pole control yokes after an elevator cable broke on one airplane and another was found to be severely frayed. ABS says there have been no reports of cable problems among its members and it was particularly concerned about a cable replacement requirement in the CASA AD.

In Australia, owners of affected aircraft will have to replace elevator cables that are older than 15 years, regardless of their condition. ABS calls that part of the AD "a difficult, expensive and unnecessary job." Normally, when an aviation safety organization issues an AD like this, agencies in other countries follow suit but ABS says the FAA decided against an AD after consultation with Australian authorities and ABS. "The American Bonanza Society thanks the engineers and leaders of the FAA's office of Continuing Operational Safety for its careful review of the issue before making a rulemaking decision.," the society said.