DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Aviation Administration
14 CFR Part 39
[Docket No. FAA-2023-1819; Project Identifier MCAI-2023-00052-A]
Airworthiness Directives; Piaggio Aviation S.p.A. Airplanes
AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
SUMMARY: The FAA proposes to adopt a new airworthiness directive
for certain Piaggio Aviation S.p.A. (Piaggio) Model P-180 airplanes.
This proposed AD was prompted by a report of corrosion on the various
aluminum alloy reinforcements in the horizontal stabilizer (HS) central
box caused by a humid environment inside the box from water ingress
and/or condensation. This proposed AD would require a one-time detailed
inspection of the HS central box for corrosion; an assessment of the
corrosion level; and depending on the determination, repetitive
detailed inspections of the HS central box for corrosion and the
internal composite structure for surface cracks, distortion, and
damage; and repair or replacement of the HS assembly. Repair or
replacement of the HS assembly would be terminating action for the
repetitive inspections. The FAA is proposing this AD to address the
unsafe condition on these products.
DATES: The FAA must receive comments on this NPRM by October 23,
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 under
Docket No. FAA-2023-1819; 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 NPRM, the mandatory continuing airworthiness
information (MCAI), 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 NPRM, contact
Piaggio Aviation S.p.A., P180 Customer Support, via Pionieri e Aviatori
d'Italia, snc--16154 Genoa, Italy; phone: +39 331 679 74 93; email:
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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sungmo Cho, Aviation Safety Engineer,
FAA, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite 410, Westbury, NY 11590; phone: (781)
238-7241; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FAA invites you to send any written relevant data, views, or
arguments about this proposal. Send your comments to an address listed
under ADDRESSES. Include ``Docket No. FAA-2023-1819; Project Identifier
MCAI-2023-00052-A'' at the beginning of your comments. The most helpful
comments reference a specific portion of the proposal, 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 proposal 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 NPRM.
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 NPRM 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 NPRM, 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 NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to
Sungmo Cho, Aviation Safety Engineer, FAA, 1600 Stewart Avenue, Suite
410, Westbury, NY 11590. Any commentary that the FAA receives which is
not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public docket
for this rulemaking.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the
Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued
EASA AD 2023-0007, dated January 13, 2023 (referred to after this as
``the MCAI''), to correct an unsafe condition on certain serial-
numbered Piaggio Model P-180 airplanes.
The MCAI states that an occurrence of corrosion was found inside
the HS central box of a Piaggio Model P-180 airplane during scheduled
maintenance. A subsequent investigation and inspection of 16 other
Piaggio Model P-180 airplanes of various configurations and ages
revealed that corrosion of differing levels of severity was found on
various aluminum alloy reinforcements in the HS central box of all the
inspected airplanes. The MCAI also states that this corrosion was
caused by the formation of a humid environment inside the HS central
box, from water ingress and/or condensation. Further investigation
revealed that airplanes left in prolonged inactivity or parked outside
are more prone to develop corrosion damage.
To address the unsafe condition, the MCAI requires a one-time
detailed inspection of the HS central box for corrosion, contacting
Piaggio for a determination of the corrosion level, and depending on
that determination, repetitive detailed inspections of the HS central
box for corrosion and the internal composite structure for surface
cracks, distortion, and damage; and depending on the results, repair or
replacement of the HS assembly. The MCAI states that repair or
replacement of the HS assembly is terminating action for the repetitive
This condition, if not addressed, could result in reduced
structural integrity of the HS, and loss of control of the airplane.
You may examine the MCAI in the AD docket at regulations.gov under
Docket No. FAA-2023-1819.
Related Service Information Under 1 CFR Part 51
The FAA reviewed Piaggio Aerospace Service Bulletin 80-0489,
Revision 2, dated November 30, 2022 (Piaggio SB 80-0489, Revision 2).
This service information specifies procedures for a one-time detailed
inspection of the HS central box for corrosion, a report of the
inspection results to Piaggio for a determination of the corrosion
level, repetitive inspections of the HS central box as needed, and
applicable corrective actions. The corrective actions include
installation of a serviceable HS assembly, which is terminating action
for the repetitive inspections.
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 ADDRESSES.
These products have been approved by the aviation authority of
another country and are approved for operation in the United States.
Pursuant to the FAA's bilateral agreement with this State of Design
Authority, it has notified the FAA of the unsafe condition described in
the MCAI and service information described above. The FAA is issuing
this NPRM after determining that the unsafe condition described
previously is likely to exist or develop on other products of the same
Proposed AD Requirements in This NPRM
This proposed AD would require accomplishing the actions specified
in the MCAI, except as discussed under ``Differences Between this
Proposed AD and the MCAI.''
Differences Between This Proposed AD and the MCAI
The MCAI requires contacting the manufacturer for a determination
of the corrosion level if any corrosion is found during the initial
inspection of the HS central box, and if it is determined that level 2
or 3 corrosion is present, having the manufacturer provide the
threshold and intervals for doing repetitive inspections of the HS
central box. This proposed AD would require contacting either the FAA,
EASA, or Piaggio's EASA Design Organization Approval (DOA). If approved
by the DOA, the approval must include the DOA-authorized signature.
Although Piaggio SB 80-0489, Revision 2, specifies to record the
image of the location of corroded areas, this proposed AD would not
require that action.
Costs of Compliance
The FAA estimates that this AD, if adopted as proposed, would
affect 102 airplanes of U.S. registry.
The FAA estimates the following costs to comply with this proposed
|Initial inspection of HS central
box for corrosion
||6 work-hours x $85 per hour =
||Cost per product
|Repetitive inspections of HS
central box for corrosion
||6 work-hours x $85 per hour =
$510, per inspection cycle
||$510, per inspection cycle
|Repetitive inspections for surface
cracks, distortion, and damage
||6 work-hours x $85 per $510,
per inspection cycle hour = $510
||$510, per inspection cycle
|Replace HS assembly
||10 work-hours x $85 per hour
The repair of the HS assembly that
may be required as a result of
any inspection could vary significantly from airplane to airplane. The
FAA has no data to determine the costs to accomplish the repair or the
number of airplanes that may require the repair.
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.
The FAA determined that this proposed AD would not have federalism
implications under Executive Order 13132. This proposed AD would 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 this proposed
(1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive
(2) Would not affect intrastate aviation in Alaska, and
(3) Would 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
The Proposed Amendment
Accordingly, under the authority delegated to me by the
Administrator, the FAA proposes to amend 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