[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 23 (Monday, February 4, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 7642-7645]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-02075]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 39

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0731; Directorate Identifier 2012-CE-020-AD; 
Amendment 39-17334; AD 2013-02-13]
RIN 2120-AA64


Airworthiness Directives; Piper Aircraft, Inc.

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain 
Piper Aircraft, Inc. (type certificate previously held by The New Piper 
Aircraft Inc.) PA-28, PA-32, PA-34, and PA-44 airplanes. This AD was 
prompted by reports of control cable assembly failures that may lead to 
failure of the horizontal stabilator control system and could result in 
loss of pitch control. This AD requires inspections of the stabilator 
control system and replacement of parts as necessary. We are issuing 
this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these products.

DATES: This AD is effective March 11, 2013.
    The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by 
reference of a certain publication listed in the AD as of March 11, 
2013.

[[Page 7643]]


ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this AD, contact Piper 
Aircraft, Inc., 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32960; telephone: 
(772) 567-4361; Internet: http://www.piper.com/pages/publications.cfm. 
You may review copies of the referenced service information at the FAA, 
Small Airplane Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. 
For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 
(816) 329-4148.

Examining the AD Docket

    You may examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov; or in person at the Docket Management Facility 
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. The AD docket contains this AD, the regulatory evaluation, 
any comments received, and other information. The address for the 
Docket Office (phone: 800-647-5527) is Document Management Facility, 
U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hector Hernandez, Aerospace Engineer, 
FAA, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office, 1701 Columbia Avenue, 
College Park, Georgia 30337; telephone: (404) 474-5587; fax: (404) 474-
5606; email: hector.hernandez@faa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Discussion

    We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR 
part 39 to include an AD that would apply to the specified products. 
That NPRM published in the Federal Register on August 2, 2012 (77 FR 
45979). That NPRM proposed to require inspections of the stabilator 
control system and replacement of parts as necessary.

Comments

    We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing 
this AD. The following presents the comments received on the proposal 
and the FAA's response to each comment.

Request To Rescind the AD

    Gregory E. Sniegowski, Carl Poplawsky, and Eric Stendahl stated 
that since inspections of the control systems and pulleys are already 
part of the annual inspection, the requirements of this AD would seem 
to be redundant and that the NPRM should be withdrawn.
    We do not agree. The service difficulty report (SDR) database shows 
that certain Piper models have multiple reports of cracks, corrosion, 
failure of the turnbuckle, control cable fraying, or cable swage end 
breaks. This AD was prompted by reports concerning an accident on a 
Piper Model PA-32R-301T and an incident on a Piper Model PA-32R-300 
airplane.

NTSB Support

    Deborah A.P. Hersman, Chairman, National Transportation Safety 
Board (NTSB), stated that two special airworthiness information 
bulletins (SAIBs) have been issued that recommend inspecting the entire 
surface of each cable terminal, turnbuckle, or other cable fittings for 
corrosion or cracking. Within the past 2 years, the NTSB has 
investigated two accidents and one incident involving Piper airplanes 
where control cable assembly failures due to stress corrosion cracking 
led to failures of the horizontal stabilator control system. She stated 
that the fact these events continue to occur more than 10 years after 
the SAIBs were issued shows that the SAIBs were not effective. The NTSB 
supports the need for this AD.
    We concur with the findings by the NTSB.

Removal of Surface Corrosion

    Joseph Boenzi stated that we should revise the AD to allow an 
individual to remove the surface corrosion on a turnbuckle by using a 
cleaning agent and then making a determination if the part is 
airworthy. There have been reports that surface corrosion on 
turnbuckles could be easily removed with scotch-brite.
    We agree because Piper investigated the possibility of using 
scotch-brite to remove surface corrosion and found it to be acceptable. 
We will change this AD to reference the revised Piper Aircraft, Inc. 
Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 1245A, dated November 28, 2012, which 
incorporated cleaning agents and scotch-brite.

Conclusion

    We reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments received, 
and determined that air safety and the public interest require adopting 
the AD with the change described previously and minor editorial 
changes. We have determined that these minor changes:
     Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the 
NPRM (77 FR 45979, August 2, 2012) for correcting the unsafe condition; 
and
     Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was 
already proposed in the NPRM (77 FR 45979, August 2, 2012).
    We also determined that these changes will not increase the 
economic burden on any operator or increase the scope of the AD.

Costs of Compliance

    We estimate that this AD affects 34,013 airplanes of U.S. registry.
    We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:

                                                 Estimated Costs
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                                                                                    Cost per       Cost on U.S.
             Action                    Labor cost             Parts cost            product         operators
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Inspection of the horizontal      5 work-hours x $85   Not applicable.........            $425      $14,455,525
 stabilator control system.        per hour = $425.
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    We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements 
that would be required based on the results of the inspection. We have 
no way of determining the number of aircraft that might need these 
replacements:

[[Page 7644]]



                                               On-Condition Costs
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                                                                                                     Cost per
                    Action                                Labor cost               Parts cost        product
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Replacement of all stabilator control cable    10 work-hours x $85 per hour =             $608           $1,458
 system--per set of cables.                     $850.
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Authority for This Rulemaking

    Title 49 of the United States Code specifies the FAA's authority to 
issue rules on aviation safety. Subtitle I, section 106, describes the 
authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII: Aviation Programs, 
describes in more detail the scope of the Agency's authority.
    We are issuing this rulemaking under the authority described in 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart III, Section 44701: ``General 
requirements.'' Under that section, Congress charges the FAA with 
promoting safe flight of civil aircraft in air commerce by prescribing 
regulations for practices, methods, and procedures the Administrator 
finds necessary for safety in air commerce. This regulation is within 
the scope of that authority because it addresses an unsafe condition 
that is likely to exist or develop on products identified in this 
rulemaking action.

Regulatory Findings

    This AD will not have federalism implications under Executive Order 
13132. This AD will not have a substantial direct effect 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.
    For the reasons discussed above, I certify that this AD:
    (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),
    (3) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
    (4) 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.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39

    Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by 
reference, Safety.

Adoption of the Amendment

    Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the 
Administrator, the FAA amends 14 CFR part 39 as follows:

PART 39--AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES

0
1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701.


Sec.  39.13  [Amended]

0
2. The FAA amends Sec.  39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness 
directive (AD):

2013-02-13 Piper Aircraft, Inc.: Amendment 39-17334; Docket No. FAA-
2012-0731; Directorate Identifier 2012-CE-020-AD.

(a) Effective Date

    This AD is effective March 11, 2013.

(b) Affected ADs

    None.

(c) Applicability

    This AD applies to Models PA-28-236, PA-28-140, PA-28-150, PA-
28-151, PA-28-160, PA-28-161, PA-28-180, PA-28-181, PA-28-201T, PA-
28R-201, PA-28-235, PA-28R-201T, PA-28S-160, PA-28S-180, PA-28R-180, 
PA-28R-200, PA-28RT-201, PA-28RT-201T, PA-32-260, PA-32-301, PA-32-
301T, PA-32-300, PA-32R-300, PA-32R-301T, PA-32R-301 (SP), PA-32R-
301 (HP), PA-32RT-300, PA-32RT-300T, PA-32S-300, PA-32-301FT, PA-32-
301XTC, PA-34-200, PA-34-200T, PA-34-220T, PA-44-180, and PA-44-180T 
airplanes, all serial numbers, certificated in any category.

(d) Subject

    Joint Aircraft System Component (JASC)/Air Transport Association 
(ATA) of America Code 2740, Stabilizer Control System.

(e) Unsafe Condition

    This AD was prompted by reports of control cable assembly 
failures that may lead to failure of the horizontal stabilator 
control system and could result in loss of pitch control. This AD 
requires inspections of the stabilator control system and 
replacement of parts as necessary. We are issuing this AD to correct 
the unsafe condition on these products.

(f) Compliance

    Comply with this AD within the compliance times specified, 
unless already done.

(g) Inspection

    (1) Initially inspect the stabilator control system following 
instructions 1 through 10 of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Mandatory Service 
Bulletin No. 1245A, dated November 28, 2012, as follows:
    (i) If the age of the airplane is at or exceeds 15 years as of 
March 11, 2013 (the effective date of this AD): At the next annual 
inspection or within the next 12 months after March 11, 2013 (the 
effective date of this AD).
    (ii) If the age of the airplane is less than 15 years as of 
March 11, 2013 (the effective date of this AD): When the age of the 
airplane reaches 15 years, then at the next annual inspection or 
within 12 months after the airplane reaches 15 years of age.
    (iii) If the age of the airplane cannot be determined as of 
March 11, 2013 (the effective date of this AD): At the next annual 
inspection or within the next 12 months after March 11, 2013 (the 
effective date of this AD).

    Note for paragraph (g)(1)(i), (g)(1)(ii), and (g)(1)(iii) of 
this AD: To assist in determining the age of the airplane, you may 
contact Piper Aircraft, Inc., 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 
32960; telephone: (772) 567-4361; Internet: www.piper.com; or access 
the FAA airplane registry database at: http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/Serial_Inquiry.aspx.

    (2) After the applicable initial inspection required in 
paragraph (g)(1) of this AD, repetitively thereafter at intervals 
not to exceed 2,000 hours time-in-service or 7 years, whichever 
occurs first, inspect the stabilator control system following 
instructions 1 through 10 of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Mandatory Service 
Bulletin No. 1245A, dated November 28, 2012.

(h) Repair

    If any cracks, corrosion, or cable fraying are found during any 
inspection required in paragraphs (g)(1) or (g)(2) of this AD, 
before further flight, replace the damaged part with an airworthy 
part.

(i) Credit for Actions Accomplished in Accordance With Previous Service 
Information

    This AD provides credit for the actions required in this AD if 
already done before March 11, 2013 (the effective date of this AD) 
following Piper Aircraft, Inc. Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 1245, 
dated May 3, 2012.

(j) Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs)

    (1) The Manager, Atlanta Aircraft Certification Office (ACO), 
FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested 
using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. In accordance with 14 
CFR 39.19, send your request to your principal inspector or local 
Flight Standards District Office, as appropriate. If sending 
information directly to the manager of the ACO, send it to the 
attention of the person identified in the Related Information 
section of this AD.

[[Page 7645]]

    (2) Before using any approved AMOC, notify your appropriate 
principal inspector, or lacking a principal inspector, the manager 
of the local flight standards district office/certificate holding 
district office.

 (k) Related Information

    For more information about this AD, contact Hector Hernandez, 
Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Atlanta ACO, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College 
Park, Georgia 30337; telephone: (404) 474-5587; fax: (404) 474-5606; 
email: hector.hernandez@faa.gov.

(l) Material Incorporated by Reference

    (1) The Director of the Federal Register approved the 
incorporation by reference (IBR) of the service information listed 
in this paragraph under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51.
    (2) You must use this service information as applicable to do 
the actions required by this AD, unless the AD specifies otherwise.
    (i) Piper Aircraft, Inc. Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 1245A 
dated November 28, 2012.
    (ii) Reserved.
    (3) For Piper Aircraft, Inc. service information identified in 
this AD, contact Piper Aircraft, Inc., 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, 
Florida 32960; telephone: (772) 567-4361; Internet: http://www.piper.com/pages/publications.cfm.
    (4) You may view this service information at FAA, Small Airplane 
Directorate, 901 Locust, Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For 
information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 
(816) 329-4148.
    (5) You may view this service information that is incorporated 
by reference at the National Archives and Records Administration 
(NARA). For information on the availability of this material at 
NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.

    Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on January 22, 2013.
Earl Lawrence,
Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-02075 Filed 2-1-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P