DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2023-0024; Project Identifier AD-2022-01492-A;
Amendment 39-22311; AD 2023-02-04]
Airworthiness Directives; Mooney International Corporation Airplanes
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.
SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD)
certain Mooney International Corporation Model M20C, M20D, M20E, M20F,
and M20G airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of the hybrid
material elevator balance weight cracking. This AD requires inspecting
to determine whether a certain elevator balance weight is installed. If
installed, this AD requires inspecting each affected elevator balance
weight for corrosion and cracking, and depending on the findings,
either replacing each affected elevator balance weight with a non-
hybrid (lead) elevator balance weight or repetitively inspecting each
affected elevator balance weight. This AD also prohibits the
installation of an affected elevator balance weight on any airplane.
The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these
DATES: This AD is effective February 13, 2023.
The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by
reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of February 13,
The FAA must receive comments on this AD by March 13, 2023.
ADDRESSES: You may send comments, using the procedures found in
11.43 and 11.45, by any of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to regulations.gov. Follow
the instructions for submitting comments.
Fax: (202) 493-2251.
Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket
Operations, M-30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
Hand Delivery: Deliver to Mail address above between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
AD Docket: You may examine the AD docket at regulations.gov by
searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2023-0024; 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 street address for Docket
Operations is listed above.
Material Incorporated by Reference:
For service information identified in this final rule,
contact Mooney International Corporation, 165 Al Mooney Road North,
Kerrville, TX 78028; phone: (800) 456-3033; email: firstname.lastname@example.org;
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) 222-5110. It is also available at
regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA-2023-0024.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bang Nguyen, Aviation Safety Engineer,
Compliance & Airworthiness Division, FAA, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort
Worth, TX 76177; phone: (817) 222-4973; email: email@example.com.
The FAA invites you to send any written data, views, or arguments
about this final rule. Send your comments to an address listed under
ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2023-0024 and Project Identifier
AD-2022-01492-A'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the final rule, explain the
reason for any recommended change, and include supporting data. The FAA
will consider all comments received by the closing date and may amend
this final rule because of those comments.
Except for Confidential Business Information (CBI) as described in
the following paragraph, and other information as described in 14 CFR
11.35, the FAA will post all comments received, without change, to
regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. The
agency will also post a report summarizing each substantive verbal
contact received about this final rule.
Confidential Business Information
CBI is commercial or financial information that is both customarily
and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from public
disclosure. If your comments responsive to this AD contain commercial
or financial information that is customarily treated as private, that
you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or responsive to
this AD, it is important that you clearly designate the submitted
comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission containing
CBI as ``PROPIN.'' The FAA will treat such marked submissions as
confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public
docket of this AD. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Bang
Nguyen, Aviation Safety Engineer, Compliance & Airworthiness Division,
FAA, 10101 Hillwood Parkway, Fort Worth, TX 76177. Any commentary that
the FAA receives which is not specifically designated as CBI will be
placed in the public docket for this rulemaking.
The FAA has received reports of corrosion and cracks found on
elevator balance weights on Mooney International Corporation Model M20F
airplanes. The affected airplanes are equipped with smooth skin
elevators, part number (P/N) 430000-503 and P/N 430000-504, with hybrid
material elevator balance weight P/N 430018-1 installed. The hybrid
elevator balance weight P/N 430018-1 is similar in size and shape (but
not in weight) to the elevator balance weight P/N 430016-7. It is
possible the hybrid elevator balance weight P/N 430018-1 has also been
installed on Model M20C, M20D, M20E, and M20G airplanes. The hybrid
elevator balance weights were found to have developed galvanic
corrosion and visible signs of cracking, which caused them to become
This condition, if not addressed, could result in partial or total
separation of the elevator balance weight during flight, which could
lead to elevator flutter and consequent loss of control of the
airplane. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on
The FAA is issuing this AD because the agency has determined the
unsafe condition described previously is likely to exist or develop in
other products of the same type design.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Mooney International Corporation Service Bulletin
M20-345A, dated December 13, 2022. This service information specifies
procedures for inspecting to determine whether a hybrid elevator
balance weight P/N 430018-1 is installed, inspecting each hybrid
elevator balance weight P/N 430018-01 for chipping or cracking, and
depending on the inspection results, either repetitively inspecting
each hybrid elevator balance weight or replacing with a non-hybrid
(lead) elevator balance weight P/N 430016-7. 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
This AD requires accomplishing the actions specified in the service
information already described and prohibits the installation of an
affected elevator balance weight on any airplane.
Justification for Immediate Adoption and Determination of the Effective
Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5
U.S.C. 551 et seq.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and
comment procedures for rules when the agency, for ``good cause,'' finds
that those procedures are ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to
the public interest.'' Under this section, an agency, upon finding good
cause, may issue a final rule without providing notice and seeking
comment prior to issuance. Further, section 553(d) of the APA
authorizes agencies to make rules effective in less than thirty days,
upon a finding of good cause.
An unsafe condition exists that requires the immediate adoption of
this AD without providing an opportunity for public comments prior to
adoption. The FAA has found that the risk to the flying public
justifies foregoing notice and comment prior to adoption of this rule
because corrosion on the elevator balance weight could lead to cracks
that, if not addressed, could result in elevator flutter leading to
elevator failure with consequent loss of control of the airplane.
Because undetected corrosion could have developed over time and
therefore the cracks can develop quickly and without warning, the
affected elevator balance weights must be inspected before further
flight. Accordingly, notice and opportunity for prior public comment
are impracticable and contrary to the public interest pursuant to 5
In addition, the FAA finds that good cause exists pursuant to 5
U.S.C. 553(d) for making this amendment effective in less than 30 days,
for the same reasons the FAA found good cause to forego notice and
Regulatory Flexibility Act
The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) do not
apply when an agency finds good cause pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553 to adopt
a rule without prior notice and comment. Because the FAA has determined
that it has good cause to adopt this rule without prior notice and
comment, RFA analysis is not required.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD affects 3,098 airplanes of U.S.
registry. The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this AD:
|Inspect for existence of P/N
||1 work hour x $85 per hour =
The FAA estimates the following costs
to do any necessary
replacements that would be required based on the results of the
inspection. The FAA estimates the following costs to do any necessary
inspection or replacement that would be required based on the results
of the initial inspection. There were 137 elevator balance weights P/N
430018-1 produced. Therefore, up to 137 airplanes of the 3,098 affected
airplanes could have the affected elevator balance weights installed.
The FAA has no way of knowing if all 137 affected elevator balance
weights are installed.
|Inspect elevator balance weights
P/N 430018-1 for cracks/corrosion
||6 work-hours x $85 per
hour = $510
|Replace elevator balance weights
||10 work-hours x $85
per hour = $850
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
Order 12866, and
(2) Will not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska.
List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39
Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by
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