DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2022-0022; Project Identifier AD-2020-01264-A;
Amendment 39-22033; AD 2022-09-13]
Airworthiness Directives; Piper Aircraft, Inc. Airplanes
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Piper Aircraft, Inc. (Piper) Model PA-34-200 airplanes. This AD
was prompted by the determination that the life limit for alternate
bolts that attach the drag link to the nose gear were not listed as
airworthiness limitations. This AD requires establishing a life limit
for these bolts. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe
condition on these products.
DATES: This AD is effective May 31, 2022.
ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Piper Aircraft, Inc., 2926 Piper Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32960;
phone: (772) 299-2141; website: https://www.piper.com. You may view
this service information at the FAA, Airworthiness Products Section,
Operational Safety Branch, 901 Locust, Kansas City, MO 64106. For
information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call (817)
Examining the AD Docket
You may examine the AD docket at https://www.regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2022-0022; 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, any
comments received, and other information. The address for Docket
Operations is 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: Fred Caplan, Aviation Safety Engineer,
Atlanta ACO Branch, FAA, 1701 Columbia Avenue, College Park, GA 30337;
phone: (404) 474-5507; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14
CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain serial-numbered
Piper Model PA-34-200 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal
Register on February 3, 2022 (87 FR 6089; corrected February 16, 2022,
87 FR 8752). The NPRM was prompted by a notification from Piper that
prior revisions of the airworthiness limitations section (ALS) for
certain Piper Model PA-34-200 airplanes did not contain a life limit
for bolt part number (P/N) 693-215 (standard P/N NAS6207-50D). Bolt P/N
693-215 (NAS6207-50D) is an alternate part for P/N 400-274 (standard P/
N AN7-35). These bolts attach the drag link to the nose gear trunnion
on Piper Model PA-34-200 airplanes. Piper did not include an ALS
revision for the P/N 693-215 (standard P/N NAS6207-50D) bolt to
establish the same life limit as the P/N 400-274 (AN7-35). If bolt P/N
693-215 (standard P/N NAS6207-50D) that attaches the drag link to the
nose gear trunnion remains in service beyond its fatigue life, failure
nose landing gear could occur, which could result in loss of airplane
during take-off, landing, or taxi operations.
In the NPRM, the FAA proposed to require establishing a 500-hour
life limit for bolt P/N 693-215 and P/N NAS6207-50D. The FAA is issuing
this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.
Discussion of Final Airworthiness Directive
The FAA received comments from two individual commenters. The
following presents the comments received on the NPRM and the FAA's
One individual supported the NPRM without change.
Another individual requested the FAA revise the proposed AD by
requiring different assembly procedures and hardware as terminating
action. The commenter stated that failure of the bolt results from the
bolts not being tightened properly or loosening up in service. The
commenter noted that this can be corrected with improved maintenance
instructions to achieve the proper torque and hardware (thinner
washers, a longer bushing, or a slightly longer bolt, for example) to
provide sufficient lateral clearance on the bushing to avoid binding.
The FAA disagrees with the commenter's suggestion. This AD is not
addressing potential failure of the bolt through maintenance practices
but instead addresses the life limit for the subject bolt, which is
part of the aircraft's type design. The life limit was inadvertently
omitted from the ALS, and this AD simply corrects that omission. To the
extent the commenter requested a terminating action, this request is
unnecessary as this AD only requires a one-time change to the aircraft
The FAA did not change this AD based on this comment.
The FAA reviewed the relevant data, considered the comments
received, and determined that air safety requires adopting the AD as
proposed. Accordingly, the FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe
condition on these products. This AD is adopted as proposed in the
Related Service Information
The FAA reviewed Piper Seneca Service Manual, Airworthiness
Limitations, 753-817, page 1-1, dated November 30, 2019. This service
information specifies the life limits of the P/N 693-215 (standard P/N
NAS6207-50D) bolt that attaches the drag link to the nose gear
ADs Mandating Airworthiness Limitations
The FAA has previously mandated airworthiness limitations by
issuing ADs that require revising the ALS of the existing maintenance
manual or instructions for continued airworthiness to incorporate new
or revised inspections and life limits. This AD, however, requires
incorporating new or revised inspections and life limits into the
maintenance records required by 14 CFR 91.417(a)(2) or 135.439(a)(2)
for your airplane. The FAA does not intend this as a substantive
change. Requiring incorporation of the new ALS requirements into the
maintenance records, rather than requiring individual repetitive
inspections and replacements, allows operators to record AD compliance
once after updating the maintenance records, rather than recording
compliance after every inspection and part replacement.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 187 airplanes of U.S.
The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
|Revise the Airworthiness
||1 work-hour x $85 per hour =
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.
The FAA is 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.
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) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, 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.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Safety.
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