Crack alert for popular Piper

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Wing cracking in the popular Piper PA-28 Warrior II and III, Archer II and III and Arrow III is the subject of a airworthiness directive republished by CASA.

CASA has published US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airworthiness Directive 2016-07-21 that warns of wing cracks in PA-28 aeroplanes. The FAA says cracks in the wing rib, if not corrected, could result in reduced structural integrity of the wing with consequent loss of control.

The specific models affected are PA-28-161, PA-28-181 and PA-28R-201. There are 300 of these aircraft in Australia, with approximately 60 of these within the serial number range referenced in the airworthiness directive.  There are 725 affected aircraft in the US.

The directive requires inspecting the right wing rib at wing station 140.09 for cracks, and making approved repairs if cracks are found. The directive was prompted by a report of cracks found in the wing rib bead radius that were formed during production

Airworthiness Directive 2016-07-21 replaces an earlier similar directive, AD 2015-20-13, from October 2015, and expands the number of aircraft affected, after field reports found cracking on PA-28s not covered by the original directive.

The new directive 2016-07-21 covers:

  • Aeroplanes previously affected by AD 2015-20-13: Model PA-28-161 aeroplanes, serial numbers (S/Ns) 2842393 through 2842395; Model PA-28-181 aeroplanes, S/Ns 2843769 through 2843775 and 2843779 through 2843791; and Model PA-28R-201 aeroplanes, S/N 2844152.
  • Aeroplanes new to this AD: Model PA-28-161 aeroplanes, S/Ns 2842010 through 2842392; Model PA-28-181 aeroplanes, S/Ns 2843021 through 2843768; and Model PA-28R-201 aeroplanes, S/Ns 2844004 through 2844151.

There are two timetables for compliance:

  1. Aeroplanes previously affected by AD 2015-20-13 have 25 hours time-in-service (TIS) after 29 October, 2015 in which to follow the instructions section of Piper Aircraft, Inc. Service Bulletin No. 1279, dated 26 August, 2015, or Piper Aircraft Service Bulletin No. 1279A, dated 3 March, 2016.
  2. Aeroplanes new to AD 2016-5432 have 25 hours TIS after 26 April to follow the instructions section of Piper Aircraft Service Bulletin No. 1279A, dated 3 March, 2016.

For further details: Urgent Airworthiness Directive 2016-07-21

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