Urgent airworthiness directive for Cherokees, Warriors


An urgent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness directive affects about 850 Piper Pa-28 Cherokee and Warrior aircraft in Australia.

The directive, AD 2018-02-05, relates to reports of some PA-28 aircraft having improperly labelled fuel selector switches, which could cause pilots to inadvertently select a dry tank and cause the engine to fail from fuel starvation. Like all FAA urgent airworthiness directives, it automatically applies in Australia.

Compliance requires inspecting the fuel tank selector cover to verify the left and right fuel tank selector placards are located at the proper positions and replacing those that are improperly located with new placards.

The FAA says the nature of the problem justified an urgent airworthiness directive without the usual review and comment process. ‘An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to adoption,’ the FAA said. ‘ … improper fuel selection could result in fuel starvation and loss of engine power in flight. Therefore, we find good cause that notice and opportunity for prior public comment are impracticable. In addition, for the reason stated above, we find that good cause exists for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days.’

The directive applies to:

Piper models PA-28-140, PA-28-150, PA-28-151, PA-28-160, PA-28-161, PA-28-180, PA-28-181, PA-28-236, PA-28-201T, PA-28R-180, PA-28R-200, PA-28R-201, PA-28R-201T, PA-28RT-201, and PA-28RT-201T

AD 2018-02-05 takes effect on 7 February.


  1. Am surprised this type of event still happens these days.
    Personally with a fuel selector like that found in Piper A/C I always do a fuel tank check prior to every flight. I start and warm up on one tank then complete engine runs on the other, finally not touching any seize fir after that engine run up. Built in safety check regardless of what the placards say as I don’t rely on a plz acrid only fir this very reason!

    • Consider this. You dipped the tanks and found one tank on the tabs and the other 1/4 full. You start on the lowest tank then select the fullest tank for take off. You cruise on the lowest tank, perhaps you want to run it dry. Then you select the fullest tank as you join the circuit foe landing. However, unbeknownst to you, you are going to run out of fuel as you turn base………….

  2. Yep, even if the aircraft was fueled the day prior and put away full. Fuel thefts happen, unfortunately. Some fuel exhaustion accidents list ‘failure to visually check fuel status’ as a “probable cause”. It’s easy to look in the tanks of a Cherokee. Not so easy in a Caravan or any other high wing Cessnas.

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