Airworthiness Directive

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39 [59 FR 33650 NO. 125 06/30/94]

Docket No. 94-CE-01-AD; Amendment 39-8962; AD 94-14-14



Airworthiness Directives: Piper Aircraft Corporation PA28R, PA28RT, and PA44 Series Airplanes
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AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to certain Piper Aircraft Corporation (Piper) PA28R, PA28RT, and PA44 series airplanes. This action requires installing a certain nose landing gear modification kit. Several service difficulty reports of collapsed nosegear on the affected airplanes prompted this action. In particular, these reports reveal failure of the bolt (AN4-20) connecting the lower drag link of the nosegear to the upper drag link. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent nose gear collapse because of AN4-20 bolt failure, which could lead to airplane damage.

DATES: Effective August 19, 1994.

The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the regulations is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of August 19, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Service information that applies to this AD may be obtained from the Piper Aircraft Corporation, Customer Services, 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32960. This information may also be examined at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Central Region, Office of the Assistant Chief Counsel, Room 1558, 601 E. 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64106; or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christina Marsh, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, 1669 Phoenix Parkway, Suite 210C, Atlanta, Georgia 30349; telephone (404) 991-2910; facsimile (404) 991-3606.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A proposal to amend part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) to include an AD that would apply to certain Piper PA28R, PA28RT, and PA44 series airplanes was published in the Federal Register on February 24, 1994 (59 FR 8879). The action proposed to require installing Nose Landing Gear Modification Kit, Piper part number (P/N) 764-377 (for PA28R and PA28RT series airplanes) or Piper P/N 764-378 (for PA44 series airplanes). The proposed action would be accomplished in accordance with the instructions included with these kits.

Interested persons have been afforded an opportunity to participate in the making of this amendment. Due consideration has been given to the one comment received.

The commenter supports the proposal and requests that the FAA reference Piper Service Letter (SL) 988, dated July 29, 1986. The commenter states that Piper SL 988 includes a statement of FAA-approval of the referenced kits and the instructions to the kits does not include this statement. The FAA concurs that the statement of FAA-approval is included in the service letter, and that for informational purposes, reference should be given to Piper SL 988 in the AD. The FAA has added a note to the final rule referencing this service letter. The actions are still required to be accomplished in accordance with the kit instructions.

After careful review of all available information, the FAA has determined that air safety and the public interest require the adoption of the rule as proposed except for the addition of the above-referenced note and minor editorial corrections. The FAA has determined that this addition and any minor corrections will not change the meaning of the AD nor add any additional burden upon the public than was already proposed.

The FAA estimates that 6,888 airplanes in the U.S. registry will be affected by this AD, that it will take approximately 6 workhours per airplane to accomplish the required action, and that the average labor rate is approximately $55 an hour. Parts cost approximately $52 per airplane. Based on these figures, the total cost impact of the AD on U.S. operators is estimated to be $2,631,216. This figure is based on the assumption that no affected airplane owner/operator has accomplished the required action. The FAA believes that some airplane owners have already accomplished the required actions. With this in mind, the FAA anticipates that the cost of this AD will be much lower than the figure referenced above.

The regulations adopted herein will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 12612, it is determined that this final rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this action (1) is not a "significant regulatory action" under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a "significant rule" under DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979); and (3) will not have a significant economic impact, positive or negative, on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. A copy of the final evaluation prepared for this action is contained in the Rules Docket. A copy of it may be obtained by contacting the Rules Docket at the location provided under the caption "ADDRESSES".

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment
Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows:

PART 39 - AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 49 U.S.C. App. 1354(a), 1421 and 1423; 49 U.S.C. 106(g); and 14 CFR 11.89.

Section 39.13 - [AMENDED]
2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding a new AD to read as follows:

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94-14-14 PIPER AIRCRAFT CORPORATION: Amendment 39-8962; Docket No. 94-CE- 01-AD.

Applicability: The following model and serial number airplanes, certificated in any category:

Model Serial Numbers
PA28R-18028R-30004 through 28R-7130013
PA28R-20028R-35001 through 28R-7635545
PA28R-20128R-7737001 through 28R-7837317
PA28R-201T28R-7703001 through 28R-7803373
PA28RT-201 28R-7918001 through 28R-8218003
PA28RT-201T28R-7931001 through 28R-8231009
PA44-18044-7995001 through 44-8195026
PA44-180T44-8107001 through 44-8207005

Compliance: Required within the next 100 hours time-in-service after the effective date of this AD, unless already accomplished.

To prevent nose gear collapse, which could lead to airplane damage, accomplish the following:

(a) Incorporate Nose Landing Gear Modification Kit, Piper part number (P/N) 764- 377 (for PA28R and PA28RT series airplanes) or Piper P/N 764-378 (for PA44 series airplanes). Accomplish this action in accordance with the procedures and sketches included with the instructions to the above referenced kits.

NOTE 1: The modification kits referenced in paragraph (a) of this AD consist of a close tolerance bolt (NAS464P4-27), four bearings, and all other associated hardware for installation on the draglink assembly. This NAS464P4-27 bolt replaces the AN4-20 bolt used to connect the upper and lower draglinks.

NOTE 2: Piper Service Letter 988, dated July 29, 1986, references the above-mentioned kits.

(b) Special flight permits may be issued in accordance with sections 21.197 and 21.199 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR 21.197 and 21.199) to operate the airplane to a location where the requirements of this AD can be accomplished.

(c) An alternative method of compliance or adjustment of the compliance time that provides an equivalent level of safety may be approved by the Manager, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 1669 Phoenix Parkway, Suite 210C, Atlanta, Georgia 30349. The request shall be forwarded through an appropriate FAA Maintenance Inspector, who may add comments and then send it to the Manager, Atlanta ACO.

NOTE 3: Information concerning the existence of approved alternative methods of compliance with this AD, if any, may be obtained from the Atlanta ACO.

(d) The inspections required by this AD shall be done in accordance with the instructions to Nose Landing Gear Modification Kit, Piper part number 764-377 (for PA28R and PA28RT series airplanes) or Piper part number 764-378 (for PA44 series airplanes), both dated May 13, 1986. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from the Piper Aircraft Corporation, 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32960. Copies may be inspected at the FAA, Central Region, Office of the Assistant Chief Counsel, Room 1558, 601 E. 12th Street, Kansas City, Missouri, or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.

(f) This amendment becomes effective on August 19, 1994.