DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2017-0418; Product Identifier 2016-CE-041-AD; Amendment
39-19645; AD 2019-10-06]
Airworthiness Directives; Aviat Aircraft Inc. Airplanes
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for
Aviat Aircraft Inc. Models A-1C-180 and A-1C-200 airplanes equipped
with a Rapco part number RA1798-00-1 fuel vent check valve installed on
either wing or both. This AD was prompted by a report that the fuel
tank vent check valves are sticking in the closed position causing fuel
starvation to the engine. This AD requires revision of the airplane
flight manual (AFM) to add a pre-flight check of the fuel vent check
valves for proper operation and replacing any inoperative fuel vent
check valve with an airworthy part. We are issuing this AD to address
the unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective July 22, 2019.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of July 22,
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Aviat Aircraft Inc., P.O. Box 1240, Afton, WY 83110; phone
(307) 885-3151; fax: (307) 885-9674; email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
internet: http://aviataircraft.com. You may view this service
information at the FAA, Policy and Innovation Division, 901 Locust,
Kansas City, Missouri 64106. For information on the availability of
this material at the FAA, call (816) 329-4148. It is also available on
the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and
locating Docket No. FAA-2017-0418.
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http://www.regulations.
gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2017-
0418; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.,
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains
this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and
other information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800-647-
5527) is Docket Operations, 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: Richard R. Thomas, Aviation Safety
Engineer, FAA, Denver Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) Branch, 26805
East 68th Avenue, Room 214, Denver, Colorado 80249; phone: (303) 342-
1085; fax: (303) 342-1088; email: email@example.com.
We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR
part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Aviat Aircraft Inc.
(Aviat) Models A-1C-180 and A-1C-200 airplanes equipped with Rapco part
number (P/N) RA1798-00-1 fuel vent check valves. The NPRM published in
the Federal Register on May 5, 2017 (82 FR 21142). The NPRM was
prompted by a report of the fuel tank vent check valves sticking in the
closed position causing fuel starvation to the engine. The incident
airplane was equipped with Rapco P/N RA1798-00-1 fuel vent check
valves. As designed, the check valve ball seat on this P/N valve is
nearly the same diameter as the ball and the ball can readily wedge
itself in the seat and block the fuel tank vent. The NPRM proposed to
require revising the AFM to add a pre-flight check of the fuel vent
check valves for proper operation and replacing any inoperative fuel
vent check valve with a Dukes P/N 1798-00-1 fuel check valve.
Actions Since the NPRM was Issued
Since we issued the NPRM, Aviat designed a new fuel vent check
valve, P/N 38266-501, that can be installed in place of the Rapco fuel
vent check valve. We determined this Aviat fuel vent check valve is not
subject to the unsafe condition. We also determined that the Dukes fuel
vent check valve, P/N 1798-00-1, cannot be installed to replace a Rapco
fuel vent check valve due to a difference in length. Accordingly, we
revised paragraph (i) of this AD to require replacing inoperative Rapco
fuel vent check valves with Aviat valves instead of Dukes valves. We
also removed the note from the Applicability section that referenced
the Dukes valve.
We are issuing this AD to correct the unsafe condition on these
We gave the public the opportunity to participate in developing
this final rule. We received no comments on the NPRM or on the
determination of the cost to the public.
Additional Changes Made to the Final Rule
We updated the on-condition parts cost to reflect that removing and
replacing the Rapco fuel vent check valve requires cutting a hole in
the wing skin and installing an access cover over the hole once the
valve has been replaced. We added the minimal cost of this cover to the
on-condition parts cost. Labor cost was unaffected by the cover
We clarified the requirement to amend the AFM and added a fourth
step to the AFM amendment to alert the owner/operator (pilot) that an
inoperative check valve must be replaced in accordance with this AD. We
also removed the requirement to make a maintenance entry under part 43,
as revising a flight manual is not a maintenance action. A record of
the AFM change must still be made as required by 14 CFR
We refined the requirements to remove and replace an inoperative
fuel vent check valve by removing the references to steps 4 and 9 of
the service information. Step 4 of the service information is no longer
necessary due to other changes to this AD, and step 9 is unnecessary
for this AD because it is required by standard maintenance practices
under 14 CFR part 43. We also changed the language regarding replacing
both valves with valves that are unaffected by this AD from ``the repetitive
pre-flight checks required in paragraph (g) of this AD are terminated''
may remove the AFM revisions required by paragraph (g) of this AD.'' This
change makes it clear that operators do not need an alternative method
of compliance (AMOC) to return the AFM to its pre-AD configuration if
they remove both Rapco valves.
Lastly, we added a second email address for requesting an AMOC.
Requests must be submitted to both the assigned Aviation Safety
Engineer and the Denver ACO Branch general email addresses.
We reviewed the relevant data and determined that air safety and
the public interest require adopting this final rule as proposed except
for the changes previously discussed. We have determined that these
Are consistent with the intent that was proposed in the
NPRM for correcting the unsafe condition; and
Do not add any additional burden upon the public than was
already proposed in the NPRM.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
We reviewed Aviat Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 33, Initial
Release, dated November 11, 2016. The service bulletin contains
procedures for checking the fuel vent check valve on each wing of the
airplane for proper operation and replacing any inoperative fuel vent
check valve. This service information is reasonably available because
the interested parties have access to it through their normal course of
business or by the means identified in the ADDRESSES section.
Costs of Compliance
We estimate that this AD affects 98 airplanes of U.S. registry.
We estimate the following costs to comply with this AD:
||Cost on U.S. operators
|Pre-flight check of the fuel
vent check valve for proper operation as incorporated in the aircraft
||.5 work-hour x $85 per
hour = $42.50 per pre-flight
We conservatively estimated the cost
to do a single pre-flight
check. We recognize the pilot is allowed to perform this check without
the assistance of a mechanic, which will significantly reduce the
estimated cost. We further recognize that an individual airplane will
require this check every pre-flight from the issuance of this AD until
the end of its useful life as long as at least one P/N RA1798-00-1 fuel
vent check valve is installed on either wing. We have no way of
determining the total cost of repeating this check every pre-flight
either for a single product or for all U.S. operators.
We estimate the following costs to do any necessary replacements
that will be required based on the results of the pre-flight check. We
have no way of determining the number of airplanes that may need these
|Remove and replace inoperative
fuel vent check valve.
||2 work-hours (1 work-hour to
remove and 1 work-hour to replace) x $85 per hour = $170 per fuel
vent check valve. (There are 2 fuel vent check valves per airplane
= $340 to remove and replace both.).
||$330 per fuel vent check
valve and $25 per access
cover. ($710 for both.)
||$525 per fuel vent check
valve. ($1050 to remove
and replace both.)
The access cover cost is for a solid
color. It does not include
custom paint schemes to match an individual airplane.
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
This AD is issued in accordance with authority delegated by the
Executive Director, Aircraft Certification Service, as authorized by
FAA Order 8000.51C. In accordance with that order, issuance of ADs is
normally a function of the Compliance and Airworthiness Division, but
during this transition period, the Executive Director has delegated the
authority to issue ADs applicable to small airplanes, gliders,
balloons, airships, domestic business jet transport airplanes, and
associated appliances to the Director of the Policy and Innovation
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
(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
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
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]
2. The FAA amends Sec. 39.13 by adding the following new airworthiness