Piper AD Affects 19,000 Aircraft


The FAA on Tuesday issued an Airworthiness Directive (PDF) that affects nearly 19,000 Piper PA-28 airplanes, but compliance is fairly simple and cheap. The AD requires aircraft owners to inspect the fuel-tank selector cover to verify the fuel-tank selector placards are located at the proper positions. If not, the placards must be replaced. Piper told the FAA a “quality control issue” led to some of the placards being reversed. If the error goes unchecked, it could result in fuel-management errors, leading to fuel starvation and loss of power in flight, the FAA says. The inspection, plus the replacement, if needed, should cost owners about $50.

The effective date of the AD is Feb. 7. The inspection and the repair, if needed, must be completed before further flight, after that date. The FAA said “an unsafe condition exists” that requires the immediate adoption of the AD without providing an opportunity for public comments. “The risk to the flying public justifies waiving notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule,” the rule states. However, the FAA will accept comments on the rule, and may amend it based on those comments. Piper issued a service bulletin addressing the issue in October.